A Letter From A Mother To Her Daughter

Letter to DaughterEditor’s Note: I first read this on the Facebook page of a site I follow. And I admit that when I read it, I went into the ugly cry. Now it’s your turn. This is for all the daughters watching as their mothers get older and praying we can show them all the patience, understanding and love they deserve.

Original text in Spanish and photo by Guillermo Peña.
Translation to English by Sergio Cadena

A Letter From a Mother to a Daughter

My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way … remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you … my darling daughter.

I rarely ask readers to share, although I love and appreciate when they do, but share this with your mothers, with your friends, with anyone who loves and cares for an aging parent.

At this age I thought I’d be…

When I was 30 imagining my life at 40…well to be honest, when I was 30, 40 seemed old to me. Oh the ignorance of youth.  I remember thinking “If I don’t get done all the things I want to get done in the next 10 years then what’s the point?” The thought that by 40 my career wouldn’t be established or that I wouldn’t be financially secure or that I wouldn’t be married, never occurred to me.

Needless to say 40 has turned out a lot differently than I’d imagined, but that’s turned out to be not such a bad thing.  Who says that if you haven’t gotten it done/figured out/accomplished by 40, you’ll never figure it out? Check out this great video by Mike Kravinsky, who runs one of my new favorite sites, Nextnik.com. The video, All Hail The Late Bloomer, serves as a reminder to us all that it’s never too late to be who you might have been…

Nextnik.com… youth and genius aren’t inextricably linked

362 days later

one year old A year ago this week I wrote my first post for Women at Forty. I’d been 39 for a few months and was beginning some deep reflection on my impending 40’s. As it was shaping up, 40 would look nothing like I’d imagined and I was wondering if anyone else felt the same. One thing that was different was the thing I was now most passionate about. That led to the site’s first post. It was fairly short and asked a simple question – What’s your passion?

The past year has been quite a journey – for me and The Women at Forty Project.

On a personal level I took on a health challenge to become fit at 40. I’ve hit a few speed-bumps along the way (most recently a busted knee which I’ll tell you about in another post), but guest contributor Rachel reminds me that I’ll be 40 for an entire year and so technically still have time to meet that goal.

And the little idea I had for a story-telling project/lifestyle blog about women on the verge of 40 has taken on a life of its own. Women at Forty has been featured on CNN.com, CNN Radio, More Magazine and is frequently syndicated in The Chicago Sun Times. It was also voted by WE Magazine as one of the 101 Women Bloggers to Watch in 2010. Whew!  But Continue reading 362 days later

My first unofficial, official gray hair

gray hair piedrastudios Rumor has it I have a gray hair. While official reports have the number as high as three, those reports can neither be confirmed nor denied on account of the fact that I refuse to confirm or deny them. The real story here is not that I “allegedly” have three gray hairs, it’s how I reacted when I realized I had them. And by realized I mean my sister pointing to my head and saying in her best outside voice, “girl, you have a gray hair!”

For years I prided myself on being one of those women for whom things like wrinkles, crow’s feet and gray hairs just did not matter. To me, they were all signs of wisdom and beauty.  And as a conscientious objector of today’s “youthification” movement that says women should immediately rid themselves of all signs of aging, I’d loudly declare that I was never going to color my grays. So…what’s up with my reaction to these darn grays? (photo credit: Piedrastudio)

Continue reading My first unofficial, official gray hair

Sounding off: Going under the knife, aging gracefully and gray hairs

plastic surgery procedures The results are coming in on our latest poll, “Would you ever consider having plastic surgery?” and while “I’m never having any work done” has a slight lead, many of you are saying that there’s nothing wrong with a little botox or tummy tuck. We’ve added a new video to the sidebar – a discussion that addresses the “cosmetic surgery craze” which includes a panel discussion on the pros and cons of plastic surgery.

Over on Facebook a lively discussion started on dying gray hair, growing old gracefully and good genes.  On the site a few of you even commented that you’d already had some work done – and saw no problem with that. Here’s a little of what you had to say on dying gray hair, aging gracefully and cosmetic surgery…

Continue reading Sounding off: Going under the knife, aging gracefully and gray hairs