Ode to Victoria

 

I’m not a Victoria Secrets model
I don’t wear my undergarments out
For the world to see with
Perky breasts and a flat, scarless tummy.

I’m not the perfect specimen of
Flawless beauty on television or
In a magazine-air brushed to the nines
And looking serene with a smoky eye and pouty lips.

I am a woman, though often a child inside
Full of insecurities, moles, marks
And scars from a life fully lived
Sixty-two years in the making.

I shall look upon this body, this outer shell
To the inward soul, with a perfect heart
That loves myself and cherishes each flaw
And thanks my creator for making me so.

I’m tired of not feeling enough, of judging myself and never winning.  How can I compete with what the world considers to be beautiful?  That kind of competition insures that I am never 1st, and quite often last.

I am content to be where I am although not complacent as in giving up.  I am grateful for what I have been given and I will encourage others to do the same.  Victoria has nothing on us!021

 

My Hands

Sometimes I look at my hands and gasp, “oh my gosh…these are my Grandma’s hands, how can that be?” I lament that they are veiny, wrinkled and crooked.  Oh the agony of age spots, the gnarly knuckles of arthritis….why hast thou forsaken me?? I try more lotion, different lotion, wear gloves more often and hide them whenever possible.  That is….I used to.

I had a realization, not long ago, that my hands have character and distinction, even beauty . They tell a sweet story that hasn’t always had happy endings. They are an outward sign of an inward soul and a life well lived.

These hands have held babies and swaddled them with love and tenderness. These hands have prepared nourishing meals and sliced apples to share with grandchildren. These fingers have held a needle and thread to sew on a button or mend a sock. They’ve also held a face and wiped a tear to mend a broken heart.  These hands have graded papers, pointed the way, applauded and prayed.

My hands tell their own story of life and love and the more I realize that, the more in awe I am.   I’m proud to have these hands that remind me of my Grandma.  I’m thankful for these hands that say I’ve lived my life.   I’m amazed at all the opportunities I’ve had to touch others and I am deeply grateful for the hands that have held mine along the way.

Hands.jpg

Side by Side

 

Fifteen years ago, before I met my husband, I was divorced and living the comfortable, yet meager life of an educator. At the time of my divorce, I could only afford the cheapest, stark white, dented, non ice maker refrigerator model made. I’m not sure how or why my ‘divorcee’ fridge survived almost twenty years, but it did. Recently, though, we bought a real beauty! Big, bold, beautiful and modern. We revel in its efficiency and roominess, sometimes just standing in front of the door while refilling our water glasses, smiling at its grandeur.

When I said goodbye to my ‘divorcee’ fridge, I did keep my mementos and happily decorated Big Beauty with the smiles and tears of our lives, adding more and more with love.

The first thing you will see are the pictures of our grandchildren in various poses with basketballs, tree climbing and even pacifiers. We adore our three grandsons and newest granddaughter. Is there any place more befitting their smiles and torn paper flower art, than in our warm, loving kitchen on the door of our families’ sustenance?

Smattered about are magnets from our travels. We seem to be suckers for a magnet and a Christmas ornament from every trip we take, and love reliving the memories whenever we can. There’s something very satisfying about reviewing our life travels and smiling at the plastic, multicolored flip flop with South Beach painted in bright letters.

My very best friend in the world sent me a card once that leads the top of my refrigerator collage. It has a picture of two precious kittens up in a tree. The caption says, “Act cute…here come the fireman!” Every time I see that card, whether passing by or when searching for the pickle jar, I smile and think of my friend. I recall our single day shenanigans and cockily think to myself, “Hell ya, we’re still got “it”! What ever “it” is.

Alongside my magnets from Port Aransas, London, San Antonio Zoo and Have you hugged your cat today?, there is a bucket list of more places we would like to see and travels to take before we get too old. There’s also a gentle reminder which says, “To Thine Own Self Be True”. Although divorcee fridge is gone, I am still very grounded in the fact that where I am today is a culmination of where I have been. Maybe divorcee fridge was a simple necessity, but through the years it served us well and possibly led us to our gorgeous side by side. Maybe, my simple living and being true to myself led me to my strong, loving and genuine husband. Maybe we were always meant to be together, side by side.