Yesterday, my sister discovered this piece in one of Mom's numerous notebooks. My sister read this at Mom's private funeral service this past evening.
"Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.
Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body; the wrinkles, baggy eyes and sagging butt.
I am often taken aback by that old person that lives in that mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long. 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 more kind 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 avant garde on my patio. I am entitled to over eat, 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 4:00 AM and sleep until Noon?
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and I will dive into waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful, but then again, some of life is just 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 a 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 turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed and so many died before their hair could turn silver. I can say 'no' and mean it. I can say 'yes' and mean it.
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 have 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, but will rejoice in what was."