I turn the page and there she is. Sixteen years old, a picture taken for his birthday. A sweet smile and love shining from her eyes. Another page and there they are. Saying “I do” and promising to love forever. A few more albums filled with friends and family, happiness, and sorrow.
She’s not really smiling in this picture. She has sad eyes and a heavy heart. She’s lost a precious someone too soon. Living in darkness isn’t her thing. She may slip back now and then, but knows her family must come first. What can’t be changed is lived with. She chooses courage, grace, and a sense of humor.
The years pass by. The albums fill with pictures of camping and fishing trips with friends, and of family and loved ones. The day comes when the silver has taken over in her hair. She really doesn’t care.
The day comes when “what is” is, and the love and rage does no good. He says “I love you” and closes his eyes to sleep without pain. He never said “Why me?” or “I hurt.”
Life goes on. As we all know, we lose people we love. We can live with the glass half full or half empty. She choose half full.
Now in her eighties, she looks in the mirror and wonders where that sixteen-year-old disappeared to. She sees droopy eyelids, and wrinkles everywhere there is skin. She never thought she would use a razor, but tweezing with shaky hands is too hard.
She keeps her sense of humor and smiles. You can’t be young forever. And then she puts on her red lipstick and goes on her way.
Bonnie Cratsenberg lives in Ferndale