When I’m an LOL – Little Old Lady
“Are you ever afraid people are going to discover you’re still 12 years old and only pretending to be a grownup?” My childhood friend, Laurie, stared intently at me waiting for an answer.
“Yes,” I almost shouted back at her, and then we both erupted in boisterous laughter. Good thing no important people were around to discover that these 30 something year olds were just kids masquerading as adults.
Even though she asked me that question a few years ago, I still feel that way and speculate about whether or not I’ll ever feel truly grown up. I also wonder if the feeling of being grown up collides with the realization that you’re old. One of my favorite people is an 84 year old lady who realized on her last vacation that she was old when the ocean surf kept knocking her down.
I knew my great grandmother was old because, when she decided to take a trip to Israel at age 84, everyone said she was old. When she came back, she had pictures of herself riding a horse. She also had a picture of herself riding a camel, but she assured me that the camel ride couldn’t be considered a real ride. She’d mostly got on the camel for the picture, but the horse had been for a tour around the city. Great grandma said she was sore after riding the horse, and I was pretty sure it was because it had been such a long time since she’d been on a horse – not because of her age. When I asked her when she’d last ridden, she couldn’t remember; so I knew it’d been quite a while.
I guess those are the things old people do – swim in the ocean, go on horseback tours, or climb onto the back of a camel for the sake of having a touristy picture. If that’s the case, I don’t mind getting old so much. I just want to be sure that along the journey of growing old I’ve lived a life worth living. So here’s a list of things I would want people to say about me when I’m a little old lady:
- Laura is fun! (Someone described a very FUN but eccentric old lady to me the other day and told me she imagines that’s what I’ll be like when I’m old. Hopefully she was thinking about the fun part – not the eccentricity.)
- Laura looks great for her age. (I don’t want to pretend I’m not old. I’ll try to embrace the smile wrinkles and remind myself that they are evidence of happy times.)
- Laura is a lady. (Please let people still feel a great need to apologize to me if they swear in front of me. Real ladies do not swear nor tolerate swearing in their presence.)
- Laura loves God. (I don’t want my life to be a waste. I want it to count for God, and I want to finish the race with more strength than when I started. Ocean waves may knock me over; and horseback rides will make me sore, sore, sore; but let the light of Christ shine through me.)
I’ll need another 50 years or so to keep working at being a luminous Christian, but when I’m a little old lady, I’d like to be saying, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Psalm 119:10