Sunday, May 22, 2011

#75 - My Smile Reached My Eyes!

Most people put on this show of dreading the added number to their age. To them, having another birthday means a body that's getting older and they don't want to continue losing their youth.

I have a total opposite outlook about birthdays. For the past ten years, since I was about 33 years old, I've had many struggles to stay in this world. Prior to 33 years of age, I was living in a dream world without many problems and then I suddenly hit some kind of mysterious bump in my healthy existence. Life changed for me. Dealing with serious illness and major surgeries that put my life in constant danger helped to create a different attitude for me toward birthdays and getting older.

This past week, I turned 43 years old and could not believe that ten years have passed since I first became very ill with Addison's disease. At this time, ten years ago, I was dreadfully ill and weak beyond description. Life had been going downhill for months. Before the doctors figured it out, I knew I was dying. Thankfully, my diagnosis came right at the last moment. Literally.

Since then, I began to look in the mirror for little lines on my face. Like a kid, I'd sometimes stand close to our mirrored doors and smile real big while looking for crow's feet around my eyes. Where are they? There would be nothing but smooth skin. I'd practice smiling hugely to see if my smile would reach my eyes. For some reason, I eagerly looked forward to the day when I would have "smiling eyes."

My best-friend has beautiful crow's feet around her eyes and you have to understand how this looks to my view, I see these little lines around the eyes as beautiful sparkles that make a person's eyes seem more brilliant and interesting. Jealous me wanted some of that as well, but I guess I'd not grown old enough yet.
My best-friend in the whole my church wedding, in the days before
she has grown old enough to enjoy some crow's feet.
She's more beautiful today than when she was here in this photo at
only about 20 years old because her smile has reached her eyes.
These days, we get to watch each other grow old and be delighted! And, SHE is just as skinny today!
Finally, last year, I began to slightly develop some crow's feet and I was excited! Finally, I was developing TRUE beauty!

My niece and I having a fun time this past October. I can FINALLY see my smile touching my eyes!
I do realize that my near death experience has had a profound impact on my life. Each birthday, I celebrate with gusto and thanksgiving to the Lord because I have been given another year. Some of these years that I've survived have been nothing less of miraculous.

Over the last ten years, I've experienced collapsed lungs, internal bleeding in the the chest cavity, my heart was being squeezed by the sac around my heart filling with fluid and squeezing it too tightly, my neck broke and nearly severed my spinal cord, my thoracic arteries were being choked by scar tissue and muscle which caused me to have more ribs removed and more medical horrors...and list goes on. But, I am not going to sit here and complain about the blessing of growing another year older because I am so darn grateful to have the honor of growing grey hair and wrinkles.

Having a birthday means...I AM STILL HERE!! I get to enjoy what life offers for a bit longer!

So, when I see my little developing wrinkles, I am elated. Those wrinkles have great meaning to me. They signify LIFE and the accumulation of many wonderful times in spite of difficulties.

My youngest daughter and I having fun this past year. I bet she'll have a hard time developing those wrinkles too...
beauty comes to those who are patient my dear!

1 comment:

  1. I love your way of thinking. I celebrate every gray hair I discover when my roots grow in. I cover them with a dye job, but it means I am closer to the beautful white hair my Father had. And evey wrinkle I see I chalk up to wisdom. My Mother had beautiful dark hair with hardly any gray, but wrinkles that made her whole face smile. I hope to be like that someday.
    Nice post Lana.


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