As I age

In 3 years, I will be as old as my grandmother was when I was born. My grandmother, ZZ, has been dead for 21 years – this is beginning to sound like a word problem in some horrible math book. Don’t worry, there are no trains leaving the station in this post. Moving on (yes, I did really just do that)

Anyhow, for the first half of my life, she was my most-favorite person in the world; we had a very strong relationship and I thank her daily for all she gave me. I haven’t seen her in a long time. Obviously. I mean, it’s not like she’s a zombie, though ZZ would be an awesome name for a zombie.

No, my grandmother didn't look like this, but if she were a zombie, maybe she would.

No, my grandmother didn’t look like this, but if she were a zombie, maybe she would.

Anyway, I haven’t seen her in 20+ years…until today.

I’m 40. Life and time have taken their toll on my person and it’s showing. I look more and more like my own mother every day and today, when I looked in the mirror while washing my hands, I also saw my grandmother.

It’s the jowls.

I’m sure she didn’t have them when she was 43 but by the time I started memorizing her face, her voice, her smell, all those things you learn about a person just by being around her, her jowls were probably making an appearance and the older she got, the more pronounced they became. For some reason, one I can’t figure out, I loved them. They looked so soft and touchable and they were so … ZZ. No one else had a jawline quite like hers. And now I do. Or, at least, I’m beginning to.

I know I should be a little alarmed by my sagging skin, my gray hair and wrinkles, my changing appearance. And sometimes I am. But today I’m thankful and even joyous to find my grandmother’s face in mine; it’s nice to see her again.


Filed under My Dearly Beloveds

15 responses to “As I age

  1. I’ve been told all my life that I look like my grandmother. Now I see it, too.

  2. Aww… How awesome is that?! Please tell me that you gave yourself a hug and thought of her. I’d be pretty disappointed if you didn’t…

    • You know, I totally should have, since I was at work and all. Instead, I just grinned at my reflection like some weirdo and the people who came in turned around and left for the other bathroom on the other side of the building. And I can’t say I blame them.

  3. As a grandmother, I hope my grands have feelings/thoughts like these about me (prob not for a few more years tho, if passing away is required)

    • Oh, I’m sure they do; I adored my grandmother long before she died. It’s just that I miss her terribly now. Still. After 20+ years.

  4. paisleyglen

    This is heartwarming. The more I read of yours, the more I love you.

    • Hmm. Normally the people I love in an unreasonable and unhealthy way don’t love me back. Now I am concerned.

      • paisleyglen

        I know what you mean – I’m glad that we’re mutual virtual stalkers, though.

        • I am, too. And I am glad we are both concerned about the fact because it shows we are thoughtful and responsible adults. Not that it will stop us from our mutual virtual stalking, of course – perish the thought!

          • paisleyglen

            Of course not! It’s healthy to be concerned about behaviour that you regularly engage in, and fret over it for days, and not change it in any way, right?

            That sounded better, in my head.

  5. Tyler J. Yoder

    There is one photograph of myself that I actually cherish, and it is buried away somewhere or else I would share it. I’m about 18, and I had grown out my hair as teenagers do, and it was wavy, auburn, and about shoulder length. I showed it to my grandmother, and she went to a drawer and pulled out a portrait of herself at about the same age. Apart from the goatee, we looked the same. This was right before she passed away from cancer, and the photo is impregnated with this memory, for me.

    Alors. I think that it’s marvelous that you resemble your relations.

    • What a wonderful picture and subsequent memory to have! Do you have the picture she showed you, as well? If not, can you get it? Because it would be so nice to frame them side-by-side.
      Stupid cancer, taking away the grandmothers.

      • Tyler J. Yoder

        I don’t have a copy of her portrait, but my aunt does. It’s slightly larger than eight by ten, and I had thought originally that it was a black-and-white that had been tinted. Apparently, though, it was a black-and-white that has been quite literally painted on, leaving just her face unaltered. It’s lovely.

        Cancer is just all over the place and ugly. Yuck.

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