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Whittling Away: The mirror doesn’t lie

April 12, 2019 11:45 am Updated: April 12, 2019 11:49 am


Got out of the shower the other day and went to the bedroom to dress for the day.

While I was trying to catch the hole in my underwear with my stiff leg, I looked up and caught my image in the mirror. Mirrors and I haven’t been on the best of terms for years because they don’t have the ability to lie. I girded up my loins (still not sure what that means but I like the sound of it) stood up straight and looked right at the image in front of me.

There were some good things, not bad looking for an old poop. Nice smile even if the teeth aren’t real anymore. Hair’s not messy or gray nestled nicely above the ears, top’s a nice shiny pink. Eyes are still blue even with the plastic lens that replaced the cataract clouded ones.

The one thing that really stood out and I really hadn’t given it much thought until now — my skin didn’t fit any more, the years of fighting gravity showed that gravity was definitely winning. My biggest organ, the one on public display was as wrinkled as a college student’s second semester bed sheets. I need ironing! Starting at the top, my forehead looks like a plowed field ready for planting, furrows in neat rows. I kind of like the laugh lines around the corners of my eyes, reminders of a lot of good times. The bags under those eyes however make me wonder if the airlines would charge me extra if I were to try to board a plane.

The cute dimple that used to be on my chin now makes me look like I have had thorax surgery. My once bulging biceps now remind me of cheap chicken wings. I smiled a little and waved at my image. I stopped the wave but the underpart continued to wave for another minute or so to my dismay. My abs have been replaced by rolling waves of squishy stuff and it’s almost time for a training bra. I tried to remember that this was occurring to most of the folks in my age bracket. I smiled the other day when I overheard one of my female friends confiding to her friend that she was going to order a step-in bra.

Scars, I got them. A life time of memories written on my wrinkled parchment. Football scars, soccer scars, automobile wreck scars, tooth marks from an unfriendly dog when I was 10. A few scars from my long time hobby of woodcarving. Newer scars from getting a new hip and the newest one from the knee I had replaced this winter. The scars were the things that ended my little ponder. They were my history, the reminders of a long, active life. I may be wrinkled and walk a little weird but unlike many of my friends, I’m still here. God keeps giving me one day more, sure I ache and my memory isn’t quite what it was but I have my Queen to brighten my days and a dog who still wags his tail when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk and friends who smile when they see me. Life is good and I’m going to continue to enjoy it even if my skin doesn’t fit anymore.

Thought for the week — And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. — Abraham Lincoln

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well

Reach Dick Brooks at