Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday

First I checked the calendar on the bottom right of the computer screen to make sure it is Thursday.  It is. 

I've noticed that on Thursdays some of my Facebook friends post oldie-goldie pictures and label them TBT.  As a latecomer to cyberspace, I am still learning the acronyms and I've also learned plugging them into a search engine can sometimes yield some shocking results.  Do not look up MMFIC.  Don't do it! 

Talk about shocking, seeing in the mirror the different ways one's face is smeared each morning after five or so decades of living...if you are still young and beautiful, stop right now and go take a picture of yourself.  If you don't think you are beautiful, trust me, you are.  Scoot.  But come back.

The picture above is my maternal grandmother, my mother and myself.  I laid three individual photographs on a scanner and created one cross generational picture.  When one of my brothers first saw this picture of my grandmother, he exclaimed, "That's Leigh!"  I practically worshiped "Grannie", the feeling appeared to be mutual, and to this day, I revere memories of her. 

This is my mother's high school senior portrait, 1951, back when seniors were in 11th grade.  Along the way, I have read snide comments on the Internet people have made about that era in the south, only 11 years of education, and how I wish those folks could have known my mother.  She was possessed of uncanny intellect and common sense, a rare combination, plus a bristling self-confidence that was off-putting to the lesser spirited.  I don't meet many people whose mother took the time to teach their daughter Latin prefixes and suffixes and explain their effect on the root word.  She knew every word in the dictionary, her pronunciation was "DIK-shun-ree", but she kept her knowledge secret and made me look up words I didn't know.

She was also ahead of her time, becoming a nurse in the early 1950s.  She was not impressed by the letters following her name or anyone else's, and if a fool made the mistake of revealing the contents of his or her brain, she'd speak the term "educated idiot" and then extol the industriousness of the self-educated, the farmer, and those possessed of great common sense.   

And there's me at 18.  Would I ever like to know what I know now and look like her!  Grannie taught me every Word in the Bible is true, and the Bible says "beauty is fleeting."  Check.  Grannie's word, the Bible, all true.

The full verse of wisdom states, "Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."  Grannie deserved, earned every accolade she ever received.  I do remember one moment, though, when Grannie said something disturbing:  "I'm ugly."  No she wasn't!  She'd simply grown old.  Even her wrinkles were soft, blessed not to be the deep crevasses living etches on some faces. 

Mom didn't care.  She wore it all like a badge, never colored her hair and didn't wear a dab of makeup, not even lipstick at Grannie's urging.  She grew stout in her adulthood and if appearances ever came up in conversation, she'd say if anyone didn't like the way she looked, they could turn their head the other way. 

You go, Mom!

Time marches on
me, approximately 30
with magnum opus 2
and magnum opus 1,
whom I've recently dubbed
in the Christmas spirit,
Thing One and Thing Two

Fast forward 20 years
my babies went from cute to handsome
and brought home the daughters I didn't have
(Thanks guys!  I love them dearly!)
My eyes reveal the mere four hours of sleep I had the previous night,
but I am trying not to say anything negative about my appearance,
same as when I vowed not to comment
negatively on my droopy boobs
after my best friend died of breast cancer in '02

And as far as droopy boobs go, Mr. A said long ago the boys could pay to have them fixed as it appeared to be their fault.  They have both graduated college and begun their careers.  Boys? 

Oh never mind.  As a friend of mine who can afford such frivolities once said to me, "I'm saving my surgeries for sickness."   We joked about the loss of the "family nose" and how surprised some spouses might be when their babies came out with this feature or that, unlike mama and daddy. 

Thing One and Thing Two, no surprises for you!  What you see is what you get, and FWIW--another acronym!  For what it's worth, I think your dad is still very handsome and the sight of him can still cause a hitch in my breath.

He tells me I am beautiful, and yes, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and how I thank and praise the Lord for middle age farsightedness.  We have a joke between us--we'll put on our reading glasses, look at each other and mock a scream.  Then we laugh.

Growing older hasn't been as hard as it looks.  There's that occasional ache in my left knee, but I'll save the organ recitals for later, and I hope I won't elaborate even then.  

Well, the past is a nice place to visit, parts of it anyway, but presently there are kitties and a doggie to be fed, Christmas presents which need wrapping, Christmas presents which need buying!  

The bit about charm being deceptive and beauty being fleeting, it's in Proverbs 31: 10-31.  That woman was also quite industrious, so in order to live up to any semblance of her, I need to get going to the present.  I believe I'll live the rest of this Thursday there. 

Love and good day,

Mrs. A 

P.S.  After Mr. A read this post, he had tears in his eyes.  As knit as our souls are in oneness, tears came to my eyes, too, though I knew not why.  He explained it was seeing the picture of our boys so young.  I reminded him of the current picture and he said one day he'd probably shed tears over that one, too.

This is the same man who, just a few months shy of 60, lifted a Chevy truck rear end at the junkyard while a man half his age had gone to get a fork lift to move it.
A real man:  strong, but unashamed of his emotions.