I just got off the phone with my Aba (grandmother) who today turns 93. When Westley and I called to sing her “Happy Birthday,” she was sitting in her kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee and thanking God for another year on Earth.
Aba is hands down one of the best people I know. She has endured and survived a communist regime, her husband being a political prisoner, raising her two daughters alone, emigrating to the US when my grandfather was finally released from a Cuban prison and then losing him to a heart attack nine months later after finally being in a free country. She lost my aunt to childbirth when she was only 36 (my soon to be age) and then helped raise her two kids, retiring early to give them all her attention.
Her life has been nothing short of extraordinary with lots of challenges and obstacles. However, Aba is still one of the happiest and most positive people I know. She has had many reasons to be sad or give up, but she has always persevered.
As I get ready to welcome another trip around the sun and will be officially closer to 40 than 30, I’ve been thinking a lot about aging. For the most part, our society makes aging out to be a anxiety ridden, unwanted thing. But looking at Aba well into her 9th decade on this planet, I can only hope to live as full a life as she has.
Getting older is a privilege. There are so many people who don’t get to live a full life. In our world where so many battle diseases like Cancer or tragedies like senseless shootings, another day is never guaranteed.
So I choose to look at getting older as an amazing gift. Yes your metabolism isn’t as good as it used to be, your skin not as taut, but every year you are stronger and wiser and have more experiences to draw upon.
Now that I am a mom, I also think about the gift of raising a sweet boy who will one day be a teen and then a man. I wish for him a full life of love and family. When he has a family of his own, I want to be an amazing grandmother just as Aba has been to me. I’d like to be “Coco” mand fill my grandchildren’s lives with as much joy as I’ve enjoyed with Aba.
I truly believe every season in life is special and important. I choose to fully embrace every day, every year. Not every day is good, but that’s part of the journey. Even during the rough patches, I want to take it all in because each of those days, months, years, laughs, tears, happy days and everything in between form a life.
I wish to one day be old and wrinkled enjoying my own cup of coffee and reminiscing on a life well lived. Cheers to every year.
Happy Birthday to all the June babies out there. Enjoy Gemini season.