September 6, 2013

The Cherry On Top

She's got fire red hair right out of a bottle and sticks for legs, the skinniest you've ever seen.  She wears slippers instead of shoes, and always wears navy blue knit socks that are a size too large, causing them to sag and hang loose around those wispy, thin skin covered limbs.    A floral cotton skirt, gathered at the waist, rests just below the knee, and she keeps her tiny frame warm with a pearl buttoned turquoise sweater. Her hair is always combed and neatly coiffed above her haphazard outfit.  That hair, it's the cherry on top. But, she never smiles.

I've seen photos of her beauty queen days; they're displayed on the nursing home wall.  She had a throw-back-your-head laugh in those days, and was dressed to the nines.  I think she tries to mimic her old fashion sense when she clips that string of pearls around her neck, but it's not quite the same.  Something's missing. The joy.

Where did the joy go?  Where did that old beau from the photos go - the one that's sitting on the hood of that convertible with her?  Somehow, between then and now, her stride turned to a shuffle, and she lost it.  She turned her head, and tossed that crown of red, and life passed by.  And now, turning the silver to red does something for her in the drudgery of assisted living. She may not have anything to smile about yet, but with her roots done, she's ready for whatever may come, or whoever may come to interrupt the bleak.  Painting her hair red, it means she's got hope.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. ~ Proverbs 13:12

Today I'm sharing with Five Minute Friday where today's word prompt is RED.


11 comments:

  1. How poignant - finding a new way to live in a new stage of life. The cherry on top, indeed! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome Linnea! Thanks for reading.

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    1. Barbie! You are always encouraging!

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  3. Hi Stephani! Visiting from Five Minute Friday! I've been thinking a lot about aging and how to keep the, like you expressed in this piece, JOY. I'm wondering what happens to it and if lost, can you get it back? So this post was right on time. I guess it's the little things even the coloring of ones hair, that can help maintain the fire. I love when a post helps me process the wanderings of my heart. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lisha! I am helping to care for my elderly parents. My father has Alzheimer's and my mother has Parkinson's. Being around old people so much causes me to think about aging and even death quite a lot. I am convinced that we can maintain our joy! It is a choice! There are so many senior citizens who actively engage in life and giving to others, and there are also those who have a "Woe is me." attitude. I think for me, I anticipate that the golden years are actually pretty tough, and I need to to prepare not only physically, but spiritually, socially, and mentally. I need to choose now that I will be joyful in all circumstances. With Jesus, that is not only possibly, it is likely!!

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    2. Stephani, I am also entering a time of helping to care for my elderly parents. My father also has some sort of dementia, and he has become very cantankerous. I know that some of his behavior is beyond his ability to change, but there is still something inside of him that has a choice. I think you are so right - it's important to prepare for old age, if we are blessed with it. And I think that staying close to the Lord, and cultivating an attitude of humbleness and gratitude and joy is crucial.

      GOD BLESS!

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  4. What a beautiful and creative post, Stephani

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