Aging With Grace?

April 19, 2011
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Speckled, uneven, and weathered, her skin tells its own story. Where the wispy grey hair runs into her face are spaces of vacancy, where other youthful hairs previously communed with the others but have since disappeared. Her ears have a Dumbo-like quality; not that they’re large, but just their girth and droopiness explain her goofy personality. The eyes are spherical as beach balls, and seemingly as deep and brown as large chambers of chocolate mixed at a factory. These beautiful, luminous, cow-like eyes are ensconced with this story-telling skin, crinkling around them, hinting at the countless times she’s guffawed, giggled, or chortled. All over her face, the skin bobs and weaves like a hyperactive toddler warming up for a game of hide and seek. Under soft lips framed by their own furrows peek out coffee-stained teeth, zigzagging amongst one another- unique in their pattern (or lack thereof) and unashamed of their organic qualities. The space under her chin has more layers to it than the majority of us, just enough so that it barely jiggles with bodily movement.
This is a face I know so well; a face that has prayed for me, laughed with me, punished me, and loved me. This is Grammy’s face.

Grammy’s wiry gray hair has amazing talent in and of itself. It should be hailed as a superhero—“Amazahair, to the rescue!” When tousled, the hair does not simply fall back into its place as most people’s. Instead, Grammy’s hair sticks right where it was placed, creating Mohawks or whatever joking design her stylist creates. And as this stylist completes her witty hairdo, Grammy will usually just giggle along, sending her chocolate cow eyes into the drizzles of tears of happiness, her stomach into tumultuous earthquakes, and her face into its previously etched pattern of specialized laughing wrinkles. These streaky grey locks, when in their attempted position, hug her face and curl down, around, ending at her rounded chin.

Downstream from her welcoming face and chin are more fleshy body parts. Her notorious double chin is almost always clad in a turtleneck, as she is often chilly. On top of this ever-present fuzzy shirt may be (yes, another) turtleneck sweater or an old sweatshirt. These garments sit atop an ample stomach, a stomach that bounces like a Superball, up and down, up and down, whenever a laugh crosses her mouth. Her plump stomach and arms are not gross as they may sound, rather they’re just comfortable enough for a perfect hug.

Not hiding her age, Grammy wears pleated pants; even her jeans have those fancy folds. Her squat little legs display the curviness of baseball bats. And her little feet are veiled by Keds, those comfortable, plain white sneakers that only older ladies wear. As her Keds plod along the ground, her hips that have bore three children sway back and forth, and up and down, complying to the rhythm. And plod they do, as what may be a simple jog around the block for most would be an impossible labor for her aging body.

Grammy may not still possess the shapely body of her youth. Gravity has begun to tug on most of her. Her face is now spotted and lined. Her hair has lost its shimmer and silkiness, leading to Amazahair. But under these age-induced transformations lie the same beautiful woman as at age 19. And the same caring eyes. And the same desire for love. And the same readiness to laugh, a hoot that overtakes all of her body. From the tallest gray hair sticking up to the sole of her Keds, she’s my Grammy.





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