"Please don't retouch my wrinkles;
it took me so long to earn them.
Anna Magnani, Who didn't want the studio stills for
The Rose Tattoo airbrushed.
This is a quote from a little book titled The Ageless Soul
There was a time when I would not have shown a picture like the one here. I wouldn't have wanted to show that extra bit under my chin and the lines that are becoming more like grooves running on either side of my mouth. But they are a part of who I am and I've struggled for many years to become the woman in that picture-- the woman who has been "to hell and back" several times, but with each trip has grown stronger and become better.
Not so obvious in this picture are the fine vertical lines above my upper lip. My mom had them and I hoped I wouldn't. But I've learned something about those lines. They're etched by pain---the chronic physical kind of pain. As mother had fibromyalgia, so do I. My brothers have never given her credit for handling the pain well--or even at times for the pain. "She loved being ill," one has said. No, she didn't. She fought it every day. I saw her fight, and I learned from her battles. She taught me how to get up every morning, get dressed, apply make up, straighten my shoulders, hold my head high, and face the day. She told me when you feel your worst is when you NEED to look your BEST. An expert, she fooled many people. But not me, nor I her.
I don't think anyone has caught on at school that when I dress up "to the nines," as I think the expression goes, I'm at a higher pain level. I'm doing what I was taught and for the most part it helps.
My point? These lines are signs of what I've endured, and that I'd rather be sitting at a tiny table with my granddaughter than being home in bed even on a day when the bed looked GOOD. Am I patting myself on the shoulder? No, I'm praising God.
Three years ago I could not have gotten down on that chair and most certainly not gotten up from it without considerable pain and assistance. But one day I cried out to Him and He answered. He is faithful.
"The Lord my God holds my right hand; He is the Lord, Who says to me, Fear not; I will help you!" Isaiah 41:13
I am struggling a bit right now, but I'm persevering and praising. Hallelujah! I sat down AND got up from a child's chair!
"Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do His will, and I know that I will triumph." Isaiah 50:7
My 7-year-old granddaughter was playing director:"Look serious, Grandma, and look like you're really reading!"
Then I got down on the floor and
played with the wee Irish lass!