My grandmother, Elizabeth, is well into her eighties. She is one of the most beautiful, most humble, most wise and most spiritual women I have ever met. (She also happens to share my birthday). She has undoubtedly seen many things in her lifetime. She has birthed 9 children and buried one of them. She has lost her husband of nearly sixty years. But what about the little things? She has watched herself grow from child to woman, from woman to wife, mother, grandmother. Great-grandmother. Her hair is gray. Her body is wrinkled. And it has been for all of my life, yet I've never thought of her as anything less than beautiful. How have I never considered she might not feel the same way about herself?
I learned an interesting bit of information about my grandmother yesterday that should have been obvious or expected somehow, but wasn't. She too has insecurities about her body, she, the one woman in my life I've always viewed as a pillar of strength and wisdom and faith isn't always happy with the reflection she sees in the mirror. But she, unlike many of us, sees the deeper beauty that lies beneath the wrinkles, past the gray hair, the aging body. She sees the radiant beauty inside.
She says, "Sometimes I wake up and look in the mirror and think, Oh God, look at me. Look at this face." Then she sighs. "But I am a child of the King. Good morning, St. Elizabeth." And then she laughs. That long, heart-felt laugh.
She is a child of the King.
How beautiful is that? I share many things with my grandmother-- her hips, her thighs, her good heart, her birthday. I only wish I shared her positive outlook.
Why am I at war with my body?
What has it ever done to me?
What has it ever done but need nourishment, love?
What has it ever asked for except only to be accepted--- as it is.
The way it was made.
A child of the King.