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Everyone tries to get rid of them. Cover them up. Smooth them away. Botox the bejeebers out of them.

I’ve been hanging out with my mom here in Florida. Every sign at the mall talks of the next best treatment to take care of those pesky lines, grey hair, spotted cheeks and aching muscles.

Aging is the big fat enemy—fight it with the big guns, they say.

This month I have five nieces and nephews who graduate high school. They’re full of passion and excitement – they can’t wait to see what the future holds. Big dreams. Great relationships. Best-selling novels. Cozy houses. Beautiful babies.

At the same time, as I look around at the aging gems here in Florida, I realize they were once high school graduates with the whole world before them. Some of them conquered their dreams and did more than they imagined. Some felt they were thwarted at every turn and nothing turned out well.

And they all have wrinkles.

Some have pain.

Some can’t remember the last time they laughed.

Some laugh so hard that their wrinkles twinkle.

But many feel forgotten. You can see it in their eyes, their demeanor, their shuffling gate and downcast eyes.

We honor the young and can’t wait to hear of their dreams.

Then we forget to ask the old if those dreams came true.

So today, this very day, I’m instituting Hug a Wrinkle day.

Pass it on.

Say hi to someone older. Find out their story. Hug their necks and remind them that they (and their dreams) still matter.

And if you hear any great conquer-the-world, dream-come-true stories, share them here.

And if you find out a heart is broken, hug a neck and kiss a wrinkled cheek.

It just might make all the difference.

13 Responses

  1. My grandson graduates Saturday, and this helps me put it in perspective. I hope he remembers he gave me many of these wrinkles and gray hairs, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I’d raise him all over again. But don’t tell him – I’ll tell him it’s a lie!

  2. LOVE this Elsa…how true that is. I remind myself as I am walking my neighborhood to take time for the “wise ones” before their wisdom fades and the stories of the “good ole days” are gone forever…

  3. A few years ago I took a train from Manchester England to Hollyhead Wales. The man who sat across the little table from me was over 90 years old and on his way to see his son. We engaged in conversion and it was marvelous. He told of going to Canada as a young man to find work and having to leavmu e his family behind. They were to join him when he got established. Things did not work out and after a year of not seeing his family he went home to England. That was just one fascinating story he told. I boarded a ferry from Wales to Ireland and sat by a lady in her late 70’s. She told me of being a young woman who married an Englishman who took her away from home and family to live in England. Her children were grown before they could afford for her to visit Ireland and home. Again, just one of her stories. Then lately I’ve spent a lot of time with my 84 year old mother trying to soak in her memories. I would not trade any of this for anything. Be kind and loving to elderly people – if we are fortunate one day we will get there and want to be loved.

    Debbie

    1. Debbie, Thanks so much for this reply. You’re right. One day we’ll all be there and will want to know that someone cares to hear our stories – and I imagine most of us will have pretty good ones! 🙂 And by then, we won’t even care if they are embarrassing. Hugs!

  4. Thank you, Elsa. I believe I was just given new eyesight today. I am off to HUG A WRINKLE and oh, if those wrinkles could talk, the stories they would tell. 🙂

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