This I Believe

Lindsey - Slingerlands, New York
Entered on April 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that getting old is a beautiful process.

My maternal grandmother-nana- is turning 80. By no means is she considered completely healthy, but she is a very beautiful woman. I love everything about her from her glasses with the bifocals, straight down to her thick orthopedic shoes. These accessories have become part of her as she has aged, but they do not come unearned.

Many dread growing old for fear that they will have to wear glasses and a hearing aid, or use a cane or a walker. They fear that wrinkles will make them look ugly, or just have the common fear of death. These people are the ones who pay money for useless wrinkle creams or operations because they want to look young forever. I am not, nor do I ever wish to be one of those people.

Wrinkles are perhaps the most important part of aging. I believe each one holds its own story. I used to sit on nana’s lap and wonder why they were there. I wondered if they were truly laugh lines like I had been told. Now that I’m older, however, I know that behind every wrinkle is a reason why it is there, even if it is not always a happy one. I still wonder if it is possible that even just one of them is dedicated to me.

I admire my nana for being able to tell me so much without ever uttering a word and for showing me that growing old is not a bad thing. I believe that, one day, when I have seen so much of the world change before my eyes I will need bifocals to help put everything back into focus. I believe that, one day, when I have walked so much of the earth my feet will need the extra comfort and support to keep moving. I believe that, one day, when I have heard millions of different voices telling me their stories, I will need a hearing aid to keep on listening.

It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if someone were to say that getting old is ugly, I would tell them to look at my nana. She is in the midst of a beautiful process; this I believe.