I grew a new wrinkle overnight.
This was not a phenomenon I actually knew could happen THAT FAST until I was about 5 months pregnant with Jr and I looked in the mirror one morning while washing the pregnant-lady sleep drool off my face and, BOOM –WTF!? Brand new, super deep, never there at all before wrinkle above my mouth.
I attributed it to my dry-yet-zitty hormonal skin, but alas, it was here to stay.
Now I have a good handful of wrinkles that have names – along with the aforementioned “pregnant mouth wrinkle,” off my left eye there is the “Jr’s first really scary barfing illness” wrinkle…. The patch of lines in between my brows is the “are we actually going to get to buy this house constellation” (they all appeared about three years ago, as we lost then won the bidding war for The Casa.)
This newest one? It is a deep smile line on my left cheek.
It’s the Aunt Loretta line.
Yesterday evening my Aunt’s battle with cancer ended. Putting death into words is far more delicate and complex than I have tools to express – and I find myself writing and deleting additional sentences here, because it all sounds trite or somehow far too small for all that the topic means.
But noticing a line – a smile line, deep and pronounced and suddenly permanent, on this day of all days, was a gift.
My Aunt had laugh lines – from years and years of freely and easily sharing her amazing, infectious laugh with the large group of friends and family she loved so fully. That laugh lit her from within and spilled over, radiating out of her like a lighthouse, drawing people to her and enveloping everyone she encountered with joy. She was a fireball of joy… of energy, of love and giving and compassion and honesty and passion for living and doing and experiencing EVERYTHING.
Thank you for the line, Aunt Loretta.
Thank you for showing me how to live a life in which it, and all the others, are well and joyfully earned.