Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dear Sixteen Year old.......

Me.   


In ten days, I will be sixty.  Although no other age has ever bothered me, this one is quite the different story.  My life has been flashing before my eyes an adventure and I'm so glad I didn't know on my sixteenth birthday what the next forty four years would hold!  Here are a few things I want to say to that girl!


Yes, you!  On the morning of your sixteenth birthday, you didn't feel all that carefree.  Oh, you were excited because this was the long awaited day you would get your driver's license!  But you were unsure of many things in your life and not sure you were ready to start into this new phase.  You were probably saying to the one behind the camera "Mooooother!  Could you hurry?"  You know..... that woman who later became your best friend?  Oh, and later in life, you will become so much like her, you'll be the one snapping pictures while people complain.  


You actually thought this particular day would never get here, but it did and you got your license and even drove to pick your grandma up for your birthday lunch......and got lost....... but never told anyone.  You will still be getting lost in your hometown when you're almost sixty!  Your sense of direction never gets any better I'm sorry to say.


You couldn't know that the boy you were desperately, madly, crazy in love with that day would dump you in the next year and that you would indeed live even though you swore you couldn't and wouldn't.  I wish this more mature version of you could have told you not to get all wrapped up in any guy, but to enjoy being young.....oh, you probably wouldn't have believed me!


You didn't know that day that half way into your seventeenth year you would be married and expecting your first son or that four years later you would have a miscarriage and that three years after that you would have another son.  Or the great joy and piercing pain you would have during those  years.


You didn't know that after fifteen years of marriage you would be divorced and then remarried to the same husband less than two years later only to be divorced again almost four years later.  Yes, dear, it's better that you didn't know all that on your sixteenth birthday.


You didn't know that you would love two sons so much and that you would watch their triumphs and trials.  That they would teach you to pray more than you ever thought you could, to trust even in the darkest hours that the One who loved them even more than you held their futures.


You sure didn't know that you would work in three very different occupations and that you would discover where you best fit in that work world.  You would actually work in a few more that were just jobs and you would learn where you didn't fit!


You didn't know that late one afternoon when you were already forty and thought love was a thing of the past, you would take a walk with a friend at the local walking track and meet a man who would become your third and final husband, your best friend and the love of your life.   You surely didn't know that you would help raise two more sons with him.  Or that those sons would also crawl into your heart and you would love them like your first two.  This older version of you is pretty sure that being able to truly love those two bonus children was a trait you inherited from your own grandmother.


You won't give birth to any daughters, but you will be gifted with daughters through marriage and they will bring you much joy!


That day, when you were sixteen and felt invincible and that death was something other people experienced, you could not know that in the years ahead you would lose people you love.  That dear friends and family would get terribly sick and die.  Oh, yes, it's good that you didn't know that then.


You didn't have a clue, no not one clue, how much you would love your grandchildren.  Yes, you heard that right, grandchildren.  Oh, I know it seems impossible to think of grandchildren on the day you become sixteen. You just didn't know what it would be like the first time you took your oldest grandchild into your arms and looked into her face.  Sigh....and that each one that was born would again spark that love that is like no other.


You had no earthly idea that you would cry a river or laugh until your sides hurt.  It's a good thing you didn't know that you would sometimes even laugh to keep from crying.  


You had no idea that you would watch so much joy and tragedy within your family and that with every one your heart would change a just a little.  No, don't worry, I don't mean harden just change.


On that day you couldn't have looked in that mirror and seen the day all your children would one day be  grown and living on their own.  


On that day, you couldn't look in that mirror and see the lines that would form on your face from so many things.....laughter, frowns, tears, smiles.....all would change your face from that of a teenager to a woman.  In fact, dear child, you would have never believed you would ever be so ancient or that when someone used that time tested phrase.....man, she looks like a fifty year old woman.......it would be a compliment!


Looking into that mirror, you didn't know that you would be storing all those memories so that at some date far in the future you would sit and ponder all the things that had happened in your life and you would wonder that you had even lived through some of them and then realize that those things, good and bad, were the things that would form you into the woman who would look into a different mirror and who would thank God that she had come to this place in life.  


So dear sixteen year old me, live, love, laugh and don't worry so much...... oh, you will worry, but you will also learn that you can live through most anything.


And will. 











25 comments:

Needled Mom said...

Well written. Of course that 16 year old would have never listened or cared to hear the words. Good??? Bad??? Who knows?

Cathy said...

And that 16 year old could not have known that she would be so talented and beautiful, even at sixty!! And she could not know how dear she would be to her family and friends.....welcome to the sixties in a few days...love, your big sister!!

Sweet Tea said...

This makes my heart ache a little cause it documents that of a precious commodity, "time". I can identify with that 16 yr old girl and the 60 yr old woman. How blessed we are to know both. GREAT post!

UnicycleRose said...

What a wonderful tribute to 16 year old you!! Cheers to your 60th on July 31st!! CLINK! The picture of you as a young girl is DARLING!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

This was 60 for me in Dec and the first one that really bothered me...I hate to even say it....

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Oh my, such wisdom there ... the 16-year-old couldn't have understood no matter how many times you tried to warn her ... she didn't have the wisdom that her 60-year-old self has acquired ... wisdom that comes only with time.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

What a fabulously moving post! Wonderfully done!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What an awesome post! I can so relate to many of those things yet I am thankful I didn't know what the future would hold. (To be young and carefree again) I know exactly what you mean about turning 60. No other year has ever bothered me but 60 crushed me. I think the important thing about sixty is that we are not to old to live out the rest of our life with new goals and making each day happy. This comes from where we have been and what we have been though. It's a new appreciation of life. ((HUGS))

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

What a rich life you've had!

Donnetta said...

I enjoyed reading this! What a creative angle. When I look back to the 16 year old me, I am convinced God doesn't let us see the future for our own good!

Gives new meaning to His mercies being new every morning for what we will encounter that day... nothing more. Grace for the moment. :-)

Happy Birthday to you! What a blessing to call you friend! {HUGS}

Rebecca Jo said...

I totally got choked up reading this...

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I've enjoyed your beautifully written post, Nancy. It made me smile and it brought a tear to my eye, too. I'm 66 and I actually think the 60s aren't too bad! Happy Birthday in a few days to you!!

Elisa Hirsch said...

This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful, thought-provoking post!

Memoirs of Me & Mine said...

Hope that is an amazing birthday. Sounds like you've learned plenty. I love this.
http://www.memoirsofmeandmine.com/

Tonja said...

This is such a beautiful post! I can see you have really been thinking about turning 60. Well, I have one more year to go before I turn 60, and like you...I think it is the only one to bother me. I know I am old and I don't want to be. But, we just keep plugging along, don't we? And, we are never as old as the number says anyway.

Craziness abounds said...

Nancy, this was well done! However don't let 60 bother you. You are amazing and you don't look 60 at all. 60 isn't old anyway. Don't tell my mom I said that though cause she keeps giving me crap about turning 40 in Sept so I have to give it back to her. :)

Dee said...

Dear Nancy, I congratulate you on capturing the thoughts of a sixteen-year-old on the cusp of life. Your reflections surely capture the aging we've all done and the gratitude we now feel for our lives. Thank you. Peace.

The Hatcher's said...

Can you please post another one titled, "Dear Mother of Toddlers"?! Lord help me these days. Thanks for putting things in perspective. I pray I am as blessed in my life when I make it to 60!

Unknown Mami said...

That 16 year old became a beautiful, thoughtful human being that writes wonderfully.

debi said...

Glad to catch up with you. Happy belated birthday!! You and my Khloe share the same day :-)

Hugs!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday!

debi said...

Awesome post!

Hugs!
And, Happy Birthday!

Deb said...

I love this post Nancy....learned so much more about you...Happy 60th Birthday....what a difference from 16 to 60...so much more secure...so many lessons learned...

Mimi said...

HI NANCY!!!
WHAT A WONDERFUL post....so heartfelt....so honest....so much life lived int hose years......WHAT a wonderful life....sometimes we do not know what life will bring us....or take from us....
CHEERS to you ....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET FRIEND!!
I am PROUD of you!!!
You are a Wonderful loving person!!!
I wish you 60 more Birthdays!!
have a Great day!!
love and hugs,
jamie

Nonnie said...

This is a beautiful post. I feel I know you better now, but wow, did you ever remind me of things I had forgotten. I was my 16 year old self for a little while.