Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meeting the Queen

I heard her voice before I saw her.  It was husky and low, but surprisingly gentle, like she had just spent the past 17 hours crooning lullabies to a nursery full of colicky babies.  I turned the corner and she was the one waiting for me, helping me. Helping me!  I had a nearly irresistible urge to help her, to wait on her, to peel her some grapes.

This woman is 108!  I'd love to hear her stories.

She was short and stocky, her perky head sitting atop her shoulders like a queen on her throne.  I'm not sure she even had a neck.  Her short, white hair was in precise curls around her head, and I'm sure not a hair dared to be out of place.  Her face was full of wrinkles and her perfectly lipsticked mouth was tight and prim, but her eyes sparkled and smiled.  She did not gesture with her hands, but with her head.  I was mesmerized watching it bob and point as she spoke.

The thing that really got me was her clipped British accent.  No, that was the first thing.  After that, I was in awe at how firm her words were, but how kind the tone.  I wanted to hug her and beg her to love me - but I knew she already did.

I've met many women like her, beautifully seasoned ladies wearing their gorgeous silken robes of wisdom.  The world may pass them by, smiling condescendingly at their un-Botoxed faces, to their own detriment.  These women of experience know.  They know the good and the bad of the world, of humanity, of human nature.  And the best of them have learned how to love anyway.  In spite of, or maybe because of it all.

It makes me want to get old so I can be like that.

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