For those of you who see me at matches and ask "How's SWMBO?", this is the primary answer. In the implied context, it speaks of growing old. In the larger context, it speaks of a heart which accepts life's travails.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful.
But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore...
I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become.. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).
In the short term, SWMBO has once again gone to The Cabin In The Woods this weekend, this time with her sister Jo. For her, this is a place of peace. A place where she fed BBQ to friends, seeds to the birds and chipmunks, and read quietly on the sun-lit porch for hours at a time.
In the more immediate present, her last CT delivered disquieting news. The cancer, only last month residing slightly, has again begun to grow. He oncologist was scheduled to go to a symposium in Portland yesterday, where he will present her 'case' in hopes that other oncologists can suggest new regimens of treatment; as mentioned here before, the chemotherapy proved to be more powerful than her body can tolerate.
She personally remains more positive. She sent me this link to a television news article titled:
"Revolutionary New Surgery May Help Cancer PatientsThis reportage is backed up by this article from the McClatchy article on "Gene-based Personal Medicine"
The most ambitious effort yet in personalized cancer care is taking place at Massachusetts General in Boston."
Her oncologist has promised to see if she can get her into this program. It will "require travel", and perhaps temporary residence for some months in Boston so that she can (if accepted) receive the full treatment with frequent evaluations of her progress.
This is the most encouraging news we have received lately, and for those of you who have been praying for SWMBO ... thank you. Your intercetion helps as much as anything the doctors can do, and contributes a positive force which helps us to keep the faith.