Happy Planet 2 by Patrick Doheny, used under CC BY 2.0

Photo credits: Happy Planet 2 by Patrick Doheny, used under CC BY 2.0

The following is an excerpt from a lovely article, “From the Director” – Delmar Gardens of Gwinnett Newsletter (used w/permission), written by one of Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services’ Board Members, Jennifer Thilo, honoring the beauty of aging. Jennifer is also the Executive Director of Delmar Gardens of Gwinnett.

“Today I looked into the sparkling blue eyes of a resident and told her she was beautiful. She laughed and said, ‘Honey, at my age you don’t put on make-up; you have to paint a portrait!’ I laughed, but do not believe this witty and lovely lady needs a bit of artificial enhancement . . . It is becoming trendy to challenge the Barbie doll ideal of beauty and expand it to include diverse skin tones and fuller figures. Why do we not honor and celebrate the amazing bodies that have proven their strength, tenderness, endurance and longevity? I would like to offer the beauty of age spots earned gardening on sunny days, lines forged by loving worry, and crevasses deepened by laughter. How about those scars from adventures or childbirth? See the magnificence of hair white as a cloud framing a face that has lived and loved! I have noticed that as I age, I feel more able to be true to myself, less concerned with image and more confident in my instincts. I believe that this is true for many of us, that as we age we become our true selves, only more so. Our portrait, the masterpiece of our lives grows richer with every day of life lived.”