04 Mar What kind of person are you?
On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana of Wales was killed in a car accident. Six days later, on September 5, Mother Teresa died. It was curious to me that a woman of fame, fortune and title was splashed all over the pages of magazines and newspapers and even had her own special edition, while a poor nun who had given her entire life to the care of the poor had a caption the size of a recipe card.
This is typical of the magazines today. Some are about homes and gardens and recipes, but the majority are covered with beautiful women in beautiful clothes and the cover of the magazine promises to tell you how to look prettier, dress better, and how to have better sex. Others are all about the lives of public figures and their latest scandals. The theme rarely, if ever, varies. That is what sells. Out of curiosity, I regularly look to see if there’s a magazine that promises to tell you how to have a better marriage, a better family, or how to be a kinder person, but I never see it. I look for pictures of men and women who are noted for their good deeds or courageous acts, but I rarely see those either. I doubt I ever will.
Every Wednesday, I go to visit my 87-year-old grandma. She is outstanding in every way. She was a child during the Great Depression, sent a husband off to World War II, and together with my grandpa, raised eight children upon his return. I think of her as the Unsinkable Molly Brown. She’s got a kind of titanium steel in her spine that time has not worn away.
As I said, she’s 87. I doubt the world would line up to take her photograph or want her on the cover of their magazines, but she would be on the cover of every magazine if the topics were on kindness, wisdom, long-suffering, honesty, common sense, or love of God, family and country. To me, she is the most beautiful woman ever. Her inner core of all that is good and wholesome makes her beautiful. And each life she touches, she touches for good.
Time stops for no one. That’s just a fact. We will all age, some better or worse than others, but we all age. The worst thing I’ve ever seen is when someone is old but foolish, or old but unkind. I think what a waste it is that they’ve been on the earth this whole time but haven’t really learned anything of value. They don’t treat others well, they’re unkind to those around them. They’ve been on the earth a long time and haven’t learned a darn thing. Not anything of worth anyway.
For a date night some 20 years ago, my husband and I saw the movie Enchanted April. The ending we were expecting was not the ending we got, and I could not believe how pleasantly surprised and relieved I was. I won’t give the ending of the movie away because it is so worth seeing. Lady Caroline Dester, (played by Polly Walker) plays a wealthy English woman who is enjoying her youth, her wealth, her parties, and her beauty. And yet there comes a time when she discovers that she is bored with it all and thinks there must be something more to life. On a whim, she joins three other women for a trip to a castle in Italy to enjoy, in solace, the month of April.
One day she is walking about the gardens and thinks, “I have wasted so much time being beautiful.” I have thought about that line many, many times over the years, and every time I look in the mirror, it makes more sense. Over the years, my looks have faded. I am not the same slender young woman I used to be. But when I chose the role of wife and mother I had a choice. I could either think of my husband and children first and learn the virtues of patience, kindness and love, or I could be resentful and bitter that having children crimped my once carefree lifestyle. Now, instead of being thin, I have the abs of a marsupial. I made my choice, and I hope that just maybe, I will one day be as beautiful as my grandma.