"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Friday, September 6, 2013

The week before my mom died she

told me something that I have opted not to listen to.   I know that sounds horrible.  I have thought deeply about what she told me and I understand why she said it.  You see, I told my mom and sisters and brother that I was not going to color my hair anymore. 

Mom grabbed my hand from her hospital bed and told me no.  I should not stop coloring my hair.  She was so serious. 

I am not trying to go against my mom.  I just decided that gray had finally won.  I was coloring my hair once a week and it did not help.  I realized that things changed for me the moment the door knock came and the young deputy told me about Bill.  My life in a moment had changed, even though the initial report was wrong. 

Since then the gray seems more earned.  Not sure if that makes sense but that is kind of how I feel.  Anyhow I look back to how very serious my mom was about not going gray and I have realized why this troubled her so much. 

You see, we live in times where the worship of youth reigns.  This is such a bizarre notion, yet thanks to Hollywood, this is truth.  We demonize growing old and all that comes with it besides wealth.   Everything on the big screen is perfect that mainstream America has taken to the perfect image of life instead of living life. 

People age.  Houses are not always clean.  Accidents happen and there aren't always miraculous recoveries. People live in trailers.  Children are disobedient.  Laundry piles up.  Clothes wear out.  Vehicles have dents, dings, and junk rolling on the floor.  Most of this happened without Hollywood taking note.  Even in 'reality shows' scenes are staged.   Thanks to Hollywood many live in denial. 

 We have created a hollow people that focus only on the external.

I am 46 years old.  I am not in the grave yet, but I am no longer the twenty something either.   I am aware of the fact that I have knees now.  In my twenties, I had no idea that they existed.  Now I do because of the creaks!  I am the mother of twenty somethings now.  I do not want to be told I look young enough to be their sister.   I have lived 46 years and when I look in the mirror I see a woman that has gained experience in each year that has passed.  Much of the experience I have gained is through misses and bumps along the way, but each year has brought me to the Jen of today. 

I look in the mirror and I see the gray hair and realize that I have lived life and although my hair has changed I have not.  I do not need blond hair to be me.  We hastily judge one by the physical appearance we see.  This is a great shame and is totally against the way we were designed.  God designed each of us and knew we would age.  If we wish to live we will age.  God has shown us that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

I have been a baby, a child, a teen, a young bride, a young mom, a mom of teens, and now a mom of kids in their twenties(and one almost 18).   I have lived in two countries and 8 states.  I have held a variety of jobs and rose to pretty much every challenge in front of me.   I am a woman who has embraced the life I have been given. 

I also am embracing the gray hair I have.   I think it is time for many to realize that we all come in different shapes and sizes and all the crazy things we do to ourselves to fight time and the inevitable really don't accomplish anything at all for us, but give something to another.  You know~$, your money~to the tune of billions of dollars a year is wasted on making us look young, feel young, and in truth actually make many look freakish and fortyish or fiftyish. 

By the way, I am not suggesting one roll up and give up after 40.  I think I am more in tune with maintaining and improving my health than ever before.  Although I am a housewife I am not sitting around idle.  I read and study a variety of topics weekly if not daily at times.  I have a skip in my step,  especially when my handsome love is near and I know that life is best at the very age one is and not the age one attempts to be.

To the young, stop trying to look and act older.  To those not so young, stop reaching back for life. You are missing out on so much trying to obtain something that is fleeting for all of us if we wish to live a long life.

As to not listening to my mom, I think I finally heard what she really said.  We frown upon the aging, old, and infirm, and she did not wish for me to experience what she had experienced near the end.  Near the end of her life, she was ignored by professionals as they looked to my siblings or I for information about her.  She was mentally sound until the last moments of her life, but she was a woman in her 70's.  She held two degrees, raised 8 children, buried two husbands far too early in her life, yet in the end, she was seen only by her age and was pushed aside.

I know what she said is real.  I know that because people offer me a senior discount until they look at my face.  Then they back up a bit as gray does not mean wrinkled!  I know that very few American women under 70 leave their hair go gray and that I am seen as something of an oddity as I am me~as is and gray.  I have many women my age or older tell me with a straight face that they do not have any gray hair...yet pretty much every time I see them they have a different hair color so, how would they know? Other women tell me that they can't go gray as they are not old yet!?  It is so interesting how much we as a society place value on youth to the point where so many fear the most natural of things in life. 

I am thankful that I have had a few years to ponder my mother's thoughts as well as applying getting older with the Bible.  I am not dishonoring my mom by allowing my hair to gray naturally.  I am a woman with much life left, perhaps many years left to live, and I am also a gray haired person.  Such is life, and instead of running from age, I am thankful I am 46.  If only, if only my dad had been able to live to 46. 

To my readers~I am not suggesting that coloring ones hair is evil or sinful.  I am suggesting that we as a people return to reality and appreciate that we are not stationary but are migrating towards aging and that is not a bad thing. 


Tombstone Livestock said...

Good post, more people should not try to keep up with Hollywood, my hair is grey and I don't care, if people don't like my grey and wrinkles that's ok with me, I earned every one.

Humble wife said...

Tombstone-thank you! Easy to say, harder to get people to believe and accept!

kymber said...

Jen - what a wicked-awesome post! i agree with you whole-heartedly! i am allowing my hair to grow grey as well - but during the summer, the little grey bits at my temple turn reddish-brown - crazy eh? i am also growing my hair as long as i can...it is down to the middle of my back right now and i will only trim it for the rest of my life. i don't know when it happened, but at some point in the last few years i started seeing older ladies, some all grey, some with bits of grey, but they had long hair and i just really liked the look of it. anyway, i understand that your mother was giving you advice to try and protect you - but you live so close to God, and to the nature that he created - that you really are happy with the age you are. so am i. i am glad to be 42 and glad for the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, hopefully 90's and then crossing my fingers for the 100's - bahahahah! no, like you, i want to age, age gracefully and never stop learning or loving life! i have not had the opportunity to be a mother - and let's face it - i'm probably never going to have that opportunity. that is God's will and i, we, are ok with that. but my hunky hubby just took our neighbour's young man and girlfriend (20 and 18) in to town so that the girlfriend could pick up some more clothes to stay at her boyfriends house for the weekend. then they will come here for some spaghetti supper and we will sit and chat and they will share their dreams and we will listen and hopefully encourage. they love coming over. in fact, the only people that have ever been to our house so far, is everyone's kids - crazy eh? but although we haven't been blessed with children - we have been blessed with other people's amazing children and that just means the world to us.

holy moly - how on earth did i end up with this comment...and it's soooooo long?!?!?!? i know you won't mind and i know that you will understand! my spicey NM friend, wear your beautiful grey hair with pride! we are both moving into new phases of our life and it is an absolute joy for each of us!

your friend, always, with much love being sent to you and the DN crew, always,

Tewshooz said...

I have been prematurely grey since I was 35. Well, now my hair is snow white at 75. It is not the color of your hair....it is the attitude with which you wear it. It is cut short and sassy, ha ha. Besides, senior discounts are great at 46! Go for it.

Humble wife said...

Kymber-I always thought I was the War and Peace of commentors~yet you are my equal! I am glad that you are like me-content with the age you are!! As to growing out hair, I am doing the same. It is actually so much softer and less frizzie now that I have not colored it.

As to being a parent, brother, sister, grandparent or what not...I have shared before that Bill and I have taken the honor of being one for someone that is not blood. Although not all of us may be blessed with children-or parents- we all can step in for those that may need us for but a moment. I have had several couples that have been wonderful in the role of parents for Bill and I...and I love them to this day. You are perfect as you are. Oh and you and yours can and will forever more be known as the to be born grandbabies- Canadian grandparents~so there! :) and you and I can be honorary sisters. Northern and Southern...both short, sassy, and blessed to have a man that absolutely loves them! Love to you and your cutie xxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo

Tewshooz-Perfect sentiment...it is how you wear it! Some of the most physically attractive people lose their beauty when they speak and bitterness flows out. But I most say...Gray brings out the color of my eyes~so I am for it! LOL to the discounts!

Vickie Parrish said...

I stopped coloring my hair 10 years ago. I am now 62 and don't regret the decision. Like you, I feel that I have earned every one of them. I also think about honesty. Our culture tells us to color our hair, use contacts to change our eye color, by special under garments to enhance our figure, etc..... all of which is really dishonest. All of us need to be far more comfortable with who we are!

Humble wife said...

Vickie-you are so correct. If we are comfortable with who we are then we can appreciate others for their unique qualities as well.

Anonymous said...

I stopped coloring, dyeing or whatever you call it about 5 to 6 years ago..Too much hassle and the grey still came back quickly..No one has seemed to notice much and no comments..My mother passed from this earth when I was young, she never got old in my eyes, beauty to her and my daddy were always in the heart and mind, how you act on the inside far more important than on the outside..Our world judges humans by outside looks, why can't people be judged by the content of their character..A man in Portland Oregon who was the head of some city council a manager had a 2 year affair with a women he had some opinion in her hiring, it came out she lost her job a good one at that, the cad kept his job and just recused himself saying because it was Rosh Hashanah, he is the son of two important jewish people who have been honored by the entire state of Oregon and the city of Portland for advocating for the poor, the unheard and always helping others, the guy had the gaul of I don't know what, I feel sorry for his longtime wife who had to put up with him, maybe she threw him out on his ear..what a way to live one's life, he has grey hair and thinks he is quite the catch, give me a break!!!!!!!!???? I am married nearly 40 years and I would never do that to my jewish husband whom I adore, our only child would just fall over and I don't know what..It is not about one's hair color the content of one's character at all..Love your blog happy wedding anniversary to you and your hubs, what a wonderful couple and family you are..too bad others can't be sweet and full of great character..and I am sure your are lovly to look upon..!!!!!!!!!

Humble wife said...

Anonymous...I am at a loss about your story and feel sad for all involved especially those that cater to importance more than character. I feel stories like the one you shared are so common now and it breaks my heart. Marriage can and should be worked upon and strengthened. Yet so many have had struggles with this. I understand and realize that a daily job is first to the marriage then elsewhere or life will be...complicated, sad, struggle filled, hateful, unloving, disloyal and so much more.

I do thank you for your kind words and appreciate your visits and comments!! :)

Anonymous said...

I worked in an office with two beautiful twenty-somethings who wistfully described their high school glory days, and both implied it was "the best times of their lives". I laughed. Seriously. Then I told them that hubby and I were close to paying off our mortgage, had all but one of our children "close" to being raised without tragedy and that each day was the "best" and I expected to love the ride to the end of my life, hoping to see my children married and having babies and watch my hair go gray with a smile.
My grandmother had and my mother has beautiful silver hair. Mine is coming in white, not silver. Like Kymber, I am growing it out. Hey, it's easier to ride a horse with it braided, and I intend to keep learning new skills and having a blast on this part of my journey.

Humble wife said...

Sidetracksusie-I think you and I would get along wonderfully. Everyday is the best day of my life~even in the darkest of times, it offers hope as tomorrow is coming.

I thank you for your comment and I too and growing my mane out. Not sure how long I can go...but I am not one to have short cropped hair.

Thanks for the comment and visit!