Sugar at 47, we thought, would have my mother's soft smile, my Farmer's silver-streaked walnut hair, be curator of a natural history museum, and dandling her first grandbaby.
Spice, a retired dancer, would run her kennel in cargo pants (or swirly skirts, we couldn't decide) alongside one of her children, and give ballet lessons on the side.
Nice would work as a nurse in labor and delivery, and adopt a child from far away.
Lil' Snip, apprenticed by my Farmer's favorite welder, of course, would build farm equipment and, if his current exhortive style is any indicator, preach. Or boss serfs, maybe.
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I asked my Farmer at supper that night what he thought he'd be like by 60. He said he hadn't thought about it, but maybe he'd be enjoying his grandchildren.
Grandchildren. Wow. But I suppose in 20 years Sugar will have passed 30, and the others will be hard at her heels. We might well have a lapful of grandbabies.
Who will I be by then??
Only God knows, of course, but somehow it helps a little to think so far ahead of the reality in front of me now, to have something, if not to aim for (since I've pretty well proven my inability to change anything about myself), then to look forward to. A sort of hint, hint, if you will, to God (who I assume reads this blog even if no one else does).
I'll have traversed this treacherous terrain that I'm currently in, by then, and come out on the other side. I'll be older, and my hair will likely have traded in chestnut for grey (although I'm hoping for silver, at least, or white, best of all). My skin, already on its way to crepe-dom, will likely be papery over blue hilly veins: I am thin-skinned, by both meanings of the word. My fight for a youthful figure will have been lost for good, I suppose. I hope I won't still be waging that futile war. I can see glimpses of my physical destiny in my mother and her sisters, and would love to eventually inherit their cheery perspective as well. My eyes, I pray, will still be bright with interest in everything around me.
In my musing, I glance at Randy Alcorn's Heaven on the table at my side, and suddenly I know what I want, more than anything else, when I am in the winter of my life: I want the Spirit of Jesus so filling my heart that my eyes are filled with Heaven. I want to be so God-love-saturated that joy and peace and compassion sprinkle everyone I'm with.
I want to have chosen the one thing needed, as Mary did.
To get there, I will need to learn to give up many things: control (or its illusion), busy-ness (which is maybe the same thing, after all), self-preservation.... and perhaps things themselves - physical things, which take up space in our hearts and minds as well as in our shelves and attics.
I will have to learn trust, choose dependence.
Today is as good a day to start as any, I suppose: Easter, symbolic of new life.
How shall I begin??