She Hated My Orange Shorts

It was a beautiful summer day, not the 98% humidity, hazy, buzzing of annoyingly loud locusts kind of day. It was crisp and blue and clear. It was what summer is supposed to be. I had not worn shorts many times this summer, for several reasons. However, a cute, cotton orange pair I had bought on summer clearance a week ago, just the right length and width, had been burning a hole on my shelf. Today was the day. I donned a charcoal gray t-shirt, those great shorts, gray flip-flops and felt pretty good, until….my mother saw me. She asked if I was planning to leave the house looking that way. She said she was a bit appalled that a 40 year old would wear such a thing. I reminded her that I am 60. Hearing myself say that aloud was a bit startling. I realized that she would have found fault in whatever I had on, unless it was a maxi skirt and turtleneck sweater.

So we pressed on. We did errands and bought coffee out and spoke thousands of words about why and when and what if and who and how and then repeated that conversation four or five more times throughout the day. I mumbled prayers for grace and wisdom, as she pleaded for understanding and peace. It was a day of not finding God in the moment to moment. But on this lovely evening as she sleeps (hopefully in peace) and I look into a starry sky, perhaps we have found Him.

 

August 22

Yesterday I turned 60 years old. Coming up to my birthday I believe I felt a sense of fear and panic. I could not wrap that truth around my graying head. I had been asking my mother if she is certain the birth certificate is correct. Bless her. She is 89 years old and has dementia. One day she told me that she thought quite sure I was turning 40, not 60. Often, it grieves me when her memory is unclear but occasionally we get those good days of fuzzy thinking.

So I am officially into my 60’s. I felt the love and support of family and friends, perhaps in some cases it was pity. But here I am. Today the anxiety has passed (okay, is passing). I step into this new decade with many thoughts and emotions. I also step into it with a few extra pounds. Turning 60 does have its cake and ice-cream and pie and cupcakes obligations. I am, in fact, a pleaser by nature. That is a subject for another day.