It was around six o’clock in the morning. I stood at the bathroom sink and got ready to comb my hair, wash my face and get ready for this busy day. My cousin, Jon (one of the cousins that I’ve got “going and coming” by virtue of his Papa and my Daddy being brothers and Our Sweet Mamas being sisters) and his good wife, Heleen, were in the area and had called for anyone who wanted to, to come to the local coffee shop for coffee, breakfast, or just to be together.. Amity Coffee Roasters is also a family business, as it is owned by a nephew, Elmer Slaubaugh and his wife, Melody, and I certainly wanted to go!
My cousins and I are getting older. On my Daddy’s side there were 60 of us. The youngest of the 60 is now 56. The oldest is 80. Sometimes I think about how these years have passed and the age old axioms rattle around in my brain like so many loose marbles. “Where did the time go? How did I get this old so soon?”
On this morning, the face looking back at me in the mirror is lined and the chin sags. I need glasses to see things clearly and they aren’t on at the present, but I’m pretty sure that I look every bit of my 69 years. “H-m-m-m-m,” I think while pulling the comb through the tangled hair that is more gray than dark, “Maybe I’ll pull out my wrinkle cream from Olay and put some of that on this morning. It’s getting chilly out, so some moisturizer certainly won’t hurt. I don’t want to look too old when I go to see my cousins!”
I finished combing, washed my glasses and face, pinned on my prayer veiling, put on my glasses, made my bed, got dressed . . . and never thought about Oil Of Olay Wrinkle cream again until I was in the middle of breakfast. And then it didn’t matter any more.
For those who are interested:
(Clockwise from left to right)
James Bontrager, Karen Bontrager, Joan Mills, Uncle Jesse, Paul Yoder, Ilva Hertzler, Leslie Yoder, Sarah Slaubaugh, Jon Yoder, Heleen Yoder (peeking out from behind the head of) Mark Yoder, Jr., and me.
You see, I looked at these familiar and beloved faces. The youngest was my sister Sarah, the oldest was my Uncle Jesse, and even though there were some wrinkles there, I didn’t find a single wrinkle among us all that I found offensive. Quite the opposite. I’m partial to people with smiley wrinkles, and that is something a good many of the Yoders have in abundance. But even the other lines spoke volumes to me of the grief, the struggle and the living that has gone on in the lives of these people and the people they love. It was a wonderful time together. We laughed and talked, caught up with each other’s lives and came away hoping to do it again before too long. We are not young. In fact, most of us are “Too Old to Die Young” at this stage of the game. But that’s alright. We have so much more!
We are so blessed.