Home > Family, Love, Personal > The truth in wrinkles

The truth in wrinkles

I took a picture
of my godmother laughing
with my older son, and
told her how much
I loved it.

She was more critical,
seeing not her laughter,
nor her abundant love,
but the lines
on her

“That reminds me,”
I told her, “of a time
I saw Mom gazing at
her reflection in her
bathroom mirror.”

My godmother
interrupted me.

“You’re about to do
that thing where
you make me cry,
aren’t you?”

“That’s not my intention,”
I replied, as she and
my younger sister

“It’s just that
Mom told me then
how she used to be
so pretty. ‘I still
feel 20, Deborah,
but these wrinkles
show it’s not true.
Whose face is this?”

“It’s the face of
the most beautiful woman
I will ever know,”
I told her,

and yet

I saw
on Monday
that my hands
are beginning
to wrinkle.

I thought
with some
But I’m only 20!

… wait …

I remembered
that recent exchange
with my godmother
and that moment
in the bathroom
with my mom,
and wondered
what Mom’s hands
would look like
if (only) she
were still

Like my godmother’s,
they’d be beautiful,
those hands of
fighting-for, and
at least millions of other
acts of love expressed.

Thinking of my mom’s hands
made me feel not dismay
for what is (wrinkles,
but hope
that I will live
decades enough
to see my own hands
wrinkle, sag, and shrink
and maybe, if I’m so lucky
(and eyesight willing),
be as beautiful
as my mom’s
would have


A mom's hands

Categories: Family, Love, Personal Tags: , , , , , ,
  1. February 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    This is so beautifully eloquent and heart rending.

    • February 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you. Every year for the last almost-six years, I find myself inexplicably melancholy around mid-February.

      As I wrote this, I realized my heart’s been counting down to the early March anniversary of Mom’s death. Funny that I should forget and relearn every year …

      • February 25, 2016 at 5:03 am

        Awww, well there it makes sense then doesn’t it. The heart seldom forgets, I find, even if the mind does.

  2. February 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Gone, and not gone. You still hold her firmly in your heart.

  3. February 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Boy, did I need this post today. I caught a reflection of my Mom in the mirror today and it was a little creepy, I’ll have you know….damn, when did I get soooo old??? Oh well, I have a seasoned sense of humor and have earned every wrinkle, line, and stretch mark my body has. Such is life in the fast lane when you’re gray-haired and retired! Lovely piece, Deb! 🙂 PS Any updates with your friend that needs a kidney????

    • February 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      I love thinking of these markers as earned–they surely are! I’m going to try appreciating each of them in myself as I do in my friends and family.

      I haven’t heard anything about James (thank you for asking), but I am so hopeful that it’s simply a matter of letting it gestate. Fingers crossed!

  4. February 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I am 74 and I love my wrinkles. I believe they are a badge of honor for all that you have endured good and bad, but it’s good to be sround to have wrinkles. Thank you God for another day.

  5. February 24, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I love this.

    • February 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you. ♥
      (Lotsa hearts tonight. Along with tired, and content, it’s where I’m at.)

  6. February 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    So beautiful. So loved in every way. Wrinkles show that we have lived. A part of our story. So well written as usual 💜

  7. February 24, 2016 at 9:12 pm


  8. February 24, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    What a perfect photo to illustrate your thoughts, Deborah. Yes! If we’re given enough years to wrinkle deeply then we’re very fortunate. I try to remember that myself when I look in the mirror! And I think that when you adore your children and love them as you do, the wrinkles you earn will be as beautiful to them as you admire in your godmother. It’s a guarantee!

    • February 25, 2016 at 7:20 am

      I almost added another verse about my kids, but something about that didn’t seem right. Though it didn’t show in this post, I very much hope your prediction comes true!

      Happy Thursday. ♡

  9. February 25, 2016 at 5:49 am

    My forget and relearn countdown will hit me soon, so I understand that. But, also, sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and look at my face and see a slight stranger. Then I just look deeper and find me in there – and feel thankful for all of the wrinkles and laugh lines and sun spots! I’ll take my mom hands! (and moisturize them every night, but I’ll still take them!)

    • February 25, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Despite my newfound appreciation for my own wrinkles, present and forthcoming, I will definitely be investing some time in finding a mild lotion! The dryness has been feeling discomfiting, if not exactly uncomfortable. Having lotion on hand will have the benefit, too, of potentially moving me toward having un-scaly elbows. (That’s been for the ladt couple of years.) 🙂

      • February 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

        LOL, I keep a bottle in my nightstand drawer and every night, my hands, elbows and feet all get treated!

  10. February 29, 2016 at 4:17 am

    Each line, earned. Each grey hair, earned. This, it is a reminder our heart doesn’t forget yet we remind ourselves differently as time moves us forward to different understanding.

  11. June 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    How very beautiful…

  1. March 5, 2016 at 7:10 am
  2. June 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm
  3. July 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm
  4. November 13, 2016 at 3:43 am
  5. May 8, 2017 at 4:12 am

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