The moment we take our first breath is the day we start to grow old and in that moment we have no idea of the future that awaits us. We are just crying our little lungs out as the doctor hands over our little naked body to the nurse.
The process of birth is exciting and one etched in the memories of parents.
And yet for me, it is the start of my fear. I don't fear dying. I have put my trust in the Lord and know that He has already prepared my place when I take my last breathe.
My fear is just growing old and having to reside in a nursing home. We all have gone to nursing homes and while I don't mean to offend anyone, they smell and are very depressing.
I went into a little shock when I found my first few gray hairs. I've always colored my hair so I never noticed that they were coming in. I don't mind growing old if I can move around by myself, take care of myself and maybe even help my children with their future - years away children.
I don't want to be in a nursing home waiting to die. No, not every nursing home resident is waiting for the grim reaper to visit, that's just how I feel.
While the choice is ultimately a decision my children and their family will make, I don't want it. I rather die early or they can take me to the back of the ranch and shoot me. Yes, nursing homes have activities and some have field trips, but if I'm in a nursing home it means I can't take care of myself. I started working at the age of 16. That has taught me that even if I don't feel like it I have to move, I have to do something.
I go to nursing homes often for work or to visit my grandmother and while the people are friendly I just don't want to be a resident. I don't want to sit in a wheelchair unable to move on my own, wait for help to do simple things like shower and be stuck in one building.
Growing old for a woman is not the same as a man. In this society, women are expected to look their best and age is not a factor. I want my hair combed. I want to smell nice and clean. I want a clean face and a clean bottom. I don't want gray hair because not everyone can pull off the salt and pepper look.
There's a few years before I get to that point in my life but it's something I think about a lot. I see those fine lines in my face and I dye those gray hairs. I know it has begun.
The other thing that scares me and really isn't that big of a deal to some is the loss of my memory. Our brains are filed with memory files that we can choose to remember. For me, the fear of not remembering my childhood, my children's childhood, my family members who have passed away and the knowledge that I have worked so hard to obtain to be deleted, is scary.
If the good Lord allows He will come first or death will catch me in my sleep before I get to the nursing home or lose my memory. Even if it's the minute right before I enter the building. There has been many of my family members who lived in a nursing home and they never left alive.
I'll just have to wait and see if I live in my fear.