Last week, Brian and I went to lunch at my favorite sandwich place (besides New York Deli in Preston, ID), Great Harvest. It just has a nice feel. It is in Downtown Logan, which I am in love with Downtown Logan, and they give you wonderful bread samples the moment you walk through the door. Brian and I sat down at a table and began feasting on our sandwiches, but then I got distracted.
This is nothing new. Distraction is one of my good friends. We know each other well. He visits me often. Sometimes Distraction is bad to me. . .for instance, when I am trying to pay attention to my professor in math. This is not a very appropriate time for Distraction to visit me, but he still comes often at that time any ways. In some situations though, Distraction is one of my best friends. He helps me notice things around me that go ignored by the majority of other people. I am grateful for this, because I feel too many people rush around the world and don't take time to enjoy it. I truly enjoy the world. I enjoy living. I enjoy good visits by Distraction. This visit in Great Harvest was one of those good ones.
Between bites of sandwich, I noticed the cutest, little old man walking slowly to the table in front of us. I instantly loved him. I wanted to hug him. Old people just plain make me happy. Then his little, old wife followed him. She sat down across from him. She was wearing a bright orange coat. It was very old fashioned and classy. As they ate, they smiled and spoke softly to each other. I almost felt like crying, and I don't even know why. I instantly started doing something I do with many people I get distracted by.
I started wondering what their story was. Who were these old people? What kind of lives had they lived? How did they fall in love? Where did they meet? Did they have children? Had they struggled? I wanted so much to know their story.
Brian knows me. And he noticed from the very beginning how I was watching this old couple. When he finally got my attention, he asked,
"Kelsey, how come you love old people so much?"
I did not answer. Or maybe I replied that they are cute. But even though they are cute, that is not the real answer to why I love old people.
I sat the remainder of the time, asking myself this same question that Brian had just asked me. When we were ready to go, we threw our sandwich bags away and headed outside. As we strolled down the sidewalk, I broke the silence,
Brian looked at me, waiting for me to explain. I think he has gotten use to my random outbursts by now.
"I love old people because they have lived life. They have really experienced it."
I felt my eyes get big and I smiled at Brian. He just smiled back. Probably because he thinks I am crazy.
In today's world, everyone wants youth. To stay young forever. That's nonsense. You are going to get older no matter what, so just face it. And I do not see what is so horrible about growing old any ways. I think it is amazing. To be born, an innocent baby. To learn and grow.
To experience. And once you have done your learning and growing, you die. And hopefully through all your learning and growing, you teach some other people too, so that they carry a part of your story on.
I am excited to have wrinkles one day when I am old. I googled 'smile lines' a moment ago, just to see what would happen. All the results were about how to get rid of your 'smile lines' and to look younger. Why do we think to be beautiful, we must get rid of lines formed by years of hard working happiness and smiling? I will embrace my smile lines gladly, so everyone will know that I have been happy.
I am excited for the day when I will be an old lady sitting in a sandwich shop, with a story to my life. I am not excited for my body to hurt and feel old. But I am excited to be able to say,
I have lived.