I saw an inspirational photograph today on Facebook. An older woman is contently sitting in the sun in what looks like a yoga pose. The quote surrounding her says “Don’t regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.” I’m usually not a person who is drawn to inspirational photographs but this one hit me hard.
Over the last six months I have indirectly been a witness to the passing of many young women and men from cancer. It seems every time I log onto one of the online support groups I’m part of, another young person has died. Women and men who like me, have a lifetime of goals, dreams and adventures that need to be lived. Those goals can be as simple as wanting to experience ‘normal’ full life. To grow old and look in the mirror to see the physical expression of that full life lived. I wrote the following in response to that photograph:
“We work so hard to fight the signs of aging and to keep looking young. I say embrace that grey hair… fall in love with your crows feet. Growing old is a precious gift that is not given to everyone. Your wrinkles tell a tale of an abundant life. A tale of wisdom, legacy and dreams met. It speaks to mountains climbed and valleys conquered. Let your body express what it means to live full long life. Embrace the privilege that some of us won’t be given. If not for yourself, for the many of us who leave this earth too soon. Dream big and embrace the foot prints of your life that are recorded on your body.”