Joyce Pedrick, New Jersey Portrait by Lori Pedrick

Joyce Pedrick, New Jersey
Portrait by Lori Pedrick

Golden Years

I have come to notice that my hands are older than me. However, I am comfortable in my own skin, even with these hands. My hands have held people I love, people I trust, people no longer in my life, and, people I share my most intimate feelings with. My hands have seen the sun, cold winters, and, everything in between. My hands have protected, sheltered, and cared for the people in my life. I have shaken tiny new hands that have not yet experienced the ways of the world, as well as old hands that have experienced much.

       Growing up as a girl I did not see myself as adorable, even though now I realize what a cutie I was. Reaching the teen years, and a tad past those, my self esteem and opinion of myself did not get any worse, but, also did not get any better. I credit this to the generation at that time. Facts are: parents did not share in conversations with the kids; and, likewise, the kids did not share in conversations with the parents. There was very little encouragement as to how high your self worth was. Also, we were pretty much taught not to discuss our feelings with anybody. Therefore, keeping your feelings so private you came to the conclusion that you were alone.

       There were three BFF girls that I went all through school with, including graduating high school together. As I look back I recall that our exchange of feelings was minimal to none, even though we enjoyed each other’s company. Now, fast forward to today, these same BFFs and I talk for hours about real happenings and how we feel about things. We have even recalled how we were raised in hush-hush times, and, how it was hard to think you are the only one in the boat.

       As I entered the work force full time, I saw a prettier person in the mirror, not only on the outside, but who was on the inside too. Yikes, it was me. I jazzed up my wardrobe, added a little more make- up and spruced up the hairdo. I became a much more independent and confident women.

       I later became a “balabusta,” a Yiddush word for a women who runs a household very efficiently. I even learned how to cook, somewhat.

       I am now in my senior golden years, and I see myself as a beautiful woman, hands, snow white hair and all. Speaking of snow white hair, I was a brunette with long fabulous hair. I turned grey and hocus pocus became a blond with hair dye. Now I embrace being a natural woman.

       I am working on changing the pattern of the circle of life by teaching my children and grandchildren what I have learned along life’s journey. Share feelings with trusting friends so as to realize you are not alone as to how you feel. And yet do not just share everything with everyone. Many people will come in and out of our lives, each one with a different purpose, and, vice versa. Do not compare yourself to others. We have each been given different talents and gifts, find yours and let it be a passion. We are like snowflakes, no two alike, but each one is gorgeous. Together they make a beautiful blanket. And not any one snowflake is better than all of the snowflakes together. Always do the next right thing. Stay in the moment and make the best of it; it is the only moment we have.

       One of my favorite moments is spending time with my terrific grandchildren.  

— Joyce Pedrick