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Lessons My Great Grandmother Taught Me

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Your skin-- filmy, limp, and papery thin
with electric blue veins
that form ridges and lines.
Like a pug dog's,
it is baggy and loose
and shriveled by age;
morphed into something else,
something you used to fear.
Your skin becomes
more blemished
by each passing year.
You will never look into the mirror
and comb your shimmering locks
again.
Once a luscious blond array,
your hair has long since turned to
a wispy powdery gray.
The eye-sight, once 20/20, is failing.
All things look fuzzy and blended;
a smudged oil pastel, white and blue and red and black.
Yet, with all such hindrances
you now own a certain grace which I lack.
The willingness
with which you deliver your body
to the slow process of death
is beautiful, full of grace.
Life is no longer a race.
You don't fight it,
and your mind is not conflicted
when one more thing, your treasured youth,
is taken away from you.
And if the fountain of youth
gushed at your doorstep,
no, you would not stoop your lips to
its bounty.
Instead of resisting
the flow of the world
you think back
on the sweet and sour parts of it;
how it was good to you;
and accept death with open arms.
It comes clear to me that life will fly away
and eighty years will have come and gone before
I even know it.
So I now know I must live with no regrets;
carpe diem; seize the moment.



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