Monday, December 17, 2012

Men go away. Women, stay.


I think men should go away for a minute while I post this. Women. Stay.

It doesn’t seem right that I celebrated turning 65 the day after so many young lives were over. So violently done. I should have been the one to leave and not come back. I want to apologize for my life.

But here it is Monday morning and the most incomprehensible thing about life is that it goes on right up until the moment when God says, Come Home. I’d like to say the deaths of those children will make me live more carefully, more intentionally. I know. Sometimes we’re full of crap and we quickly forget, but I’m going to try not to.

Here is reality: we celebrated my birthday. Denis made supper. He doesn’t cook often so that was cause for rejoicing and a bit of mirth. He opened a bottle of red wine, made marinated pork chops, steamed cauliflower and baked sweet potatoes without help. Anita made chocolate cupcakes with coffee ganache icing. You should never buy a woman a handbag, the chances of it being something she likes are almost zero, but Denis did and I love it. 
Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Icing
   The first leg of my celebrating actually began a few days earlier – let this be a lesson to all you out there with aging intestines and more diet restrictions than you care to make public. We were on our way back from visiting family in Chattanooga and me doing a reading and signing for The Exact Place at Camp House Coffee. No sooner had we left the Smoky Mountains and I was tricked out with Lattes and Poppy Cock. How can I be 65 and so stupid? By the northern Kentucky border I was screaming for an exit and scanning the roadside for shelter. There was nothing for miles. Denis yelled, “Download the RoadAhead app for your iPhone. It will tell us the location of the next Rest Stop!!” So I did. And when it politely requested if it could locate me on the map and I said YES! AND HURRY UP, it ran and ran and ran and finally said it could not FIND me, and we were ON AN INTERSTATE FOR PITY SAKE!  There was a happy ending when we finally found a MacDonald’s 30 miles down the highway, but it was close. A small thing, really, isn’t it?
Bad Margie
 Maybe this could be a small gift of being honest? I plan to keep telling you over the next few years. I don’t think I was ever at the “top of my game,” anyway. My face, my body, unfortunately my good sense and brains will fail me more and more over the next years. I don’t plan to hide my little face cancers and droopy eye-lids from you. Perhaps, in turn, this will give you hope and perspective – something I surely need –  to have the composure, the grace and the inner beauty to grow old in front of you and in spite of our culture’s quest for eternal youth and beauty.

Thank you for stopping by here and know that I wish I could bring you into the real place where I live and share a moment of joy and kindness. I’d like to bless you as you return to whatever it is you are called to do this week, this month. The office, your business, your families, relationships, the babies and the elderly you care for, your students – whatever it is you do to love and serve others, may you also find moments to celebrate and care for yourself. Merry Christmas. Love, Margie.


8 comments:

Anita said...

I love you, Margie. Merry Christmas to you too. xoxos

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Margie! I wish I could say I had as many profound thoughts when I turned 65 in September. It was so nice to hear your book reading and experience Toad Hall hospitality in October. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, and have been recommending it to many people.

fondly, and with admiration,
Louise

annie said...

The cupcakes look delicious. Thanks for your post. You have encouraged me today as I look after my babies here in summery Australia. Show me how you age gracefully. When it's my turn, I want to be real too. Thanks for not hiding.

Sarah! said...

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday! And thank you for this post -- I've been recently struggling to have a right perspective on aging -- touchy back, aching shoulders, trick knee, droopy eyelids, mouth wrinkles...and remembering to be thankful for a body that continues to serve usefully and a husband with lots of mercy and kindness...
and feeling frustrated with my self-centeredness to be struggling with such a vain, fleeting thing in the midst of the overflowing, ridiculously over-the-top blessing in my life...

Ken said...

You have been a great blessing to me through your book along with your blog & "Notes From Toad House". For Christmas, my daughter-in-law gave back the copy of EXACT PLACE I had given her. She wanted to trade it for my copy because she'd had you inscribe her copy to me when you were in Chattanooga. Small world.
Trisha

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I love you, Margie.
~From your friend, Andi

sunflow said...

Gluten free cupcakes and a handbag gift?! Awesome!

sunflow said...

Had my own similar emergency and thought I would be okay for at least the next 15 minutes on the drive home. But all of a sudden, my tummy did a twirl, and I was grabbing onto the sun visor above me and flapping it, as I hollered for my sis to step on it. The nearby Home Depot was my relief that day. Whew.