Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kathie's Wrinkles

The best real estate agents are generally willing to share their experiences and freely give counsel. Lucky for me, my office is next door to Kathie who has 11 years of experience under her belt. Her door is always open - not just to other Realtors, but also to life.

Kathie credits her wrinkles to raising two sons. She got them from laughing, from crying, and from grimacing at their hijinks. She remembers laughing when her boys as youngsters would play dress-up and run around the house as detectives and Supermen. She cried when one son would wind up in the ER getting stitches. Kathie also remembers grimacing when her husband Steve would come home from camping or hunting with the boys and they were all soaked, cold, and smelly.

Her youngest son, Josh, seemed to have a predisposition to injure himself … she sometimes feared that the doctors would accuse her of abuse because of frequent trips seeking medical help. When Josh was two, he badly burned the palm of his hand from touching a tiller. Later, he had one really bad bicycle accident. Then there was the time he left part of his face on the pavement when he fell while skateboarding.

Then there was the summer that Josh told Kathie that he fell down the stairs and broke his toe. They were on the way out the door for Vacation Bible School and Kathie thought he was just trying to get out of going. They went anyway, and Josh went to a friend’s house to play afterwards. His friend’s Mom called Kathie to say he cut his foot and she was afraid he might need stitches. At the hospital while waiting for the stitches, he had both shoes off on the exam table. The doctor walked in and said, “When did you break your toe, son?” Josh said to his Mom, “See? I told you so.” He walked out of the hospital with broken bones on one foot and stitches on the other. A mother’s wrinkles are always hard-earned, but Kathie says we weather tough times with love and laughter because of God’s grace and His divine power.

Kathie’s other son, Jason, was always a pretty good kid. Then he turned 16 and got his driver’s license. He got a speeding ticket the next day. Kathie worried about whether he’d survive his teenage years. Thankfully, he did. And now Jason has a son of his own, Bryson.

As a grandmother, Kathie holds one memory especially dear. Her own grandmother, Mama Cates, had a weathered face from work and from raising seven children as a widow. But Mama Cates said her wrinkles were mostly from laughter. When Kathie’s son Jason was about 4 or 5 years old, he sat on Mama Cates lap and rubbed her face very softly. Mama Cates asked why he was rubbing her face, and he said it was because it was so wrinkledly! Kathie said her grandmother threw back her head and laughed…those wrinkles were her prized possessions.

As we all grow older, we should cherish it when we’ve been given the grace to watch as children discover the world – whether it’s the wrinkled face of one of our elders or the exhilaration of seeing a child learn to ride a bike. I could almost feel Kathie’s pride through an email she sent me where she expressed joy at hearing the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. She also said that the excitement of young and old alike at Christmas can’t help but bring joy and smiles all over your face.

Kathie says it’s true that women don’t age as gracefully as men. She says the gray around the temples aren’t distinguished, nor our wrinkles as graceful. But like her grandmother, Kathie doesn’t want to worry about laugh lines, wrinkles or what lies ahead. She wants to live each day with laughter and smiles, and she wants to share them with her grand-children and great grand-children. That’s a grand vision, indeed.


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7:05 PM  

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