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My Old Woman
There is an old woman in my mind. And she is me in thirty years or maybe forty. The numbers don't matter, except that she is old, and I am not. But I want to be. Someday I want to reach the pinnacle of my life, look back and salute my journey.
I think of her as a soft hand on my shoulder. She is a woman of words and wisdom and warmth. She is a constant presence, a guide; a force that will not be ignored. I'm not always aware of her but like a shadow, she is always there.
If I close my eyes, I can see her. She has silver hair, curly and cropped short to her head. She is lean, but surprisingly strong from years of digging in the garden and dancing on the lawn. Her gently wrinkled face carries more smile lines than frown lines. Each wrinkle is a triumph. The scars that mark her body are faded and silvered and she bears them like a badge, as proof of battles won and enemies conquered.
She has so many stories to tell and will trap anyone willing
She thinks it is a great
privilege to bore people with stories of the old days. I remember
she will say, and if their
eyes glaze over, she won't notice. She'll be in another place,
She is an idea I carry with me, an image to call on when I
am scared and
feeling the need of a
powerful positive force. She was with me while I sat through
chemotherapy, veins tired and grey,
as I watched first the black then the red liquid flow into
She helps me believe that I will master that peak and wear those wrinkles. She comforts me, by revealing just a peek at the future. A future with me in it.
By Laura Fee, a breast cancer survivor and creative-writing
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