She will sit in silence. Her hair will be long, and silver, and if not curly, there will be a wave. It will be rougher, harder, the softness will be a thing of the past. Her hands will be old looking. The years of water on them will have taken their toll. They too will be rougher, she will be using hand cream all the time to try and recapture her youth. Her skin will have wrinkles, her face will look unrecognizable, especially to her. Her eyes will be grandmotherly, even if she isn't one.
Her home will be large, too big, full of memories in every corner, every spot. She will place her hands on a wall and remember that room being so full...of stuff and toys and kids and noise and love. Her home will have been filled with love and that love will carry her through, it is what keeps her warm.
She will walk out of the front of her house, look out into her front yard and remember the family games played, the kids running around. She will remember her son just walking back and forth, playing alone but still full of sunshine, even when it rained.
She will walk out of the back of her home, sit on her deck, warm coffee in her hand, and she will remember the screams of joy, laughter, the look on her husband's face when his backyard became what he always dreamed. She will look at the lights and remember the warmth of summer days, and not just because the temperature was warmer.
She will be in her kitchen, making dinner and realize that more than dinner was made in this room. Traditions were created and protected there. The island was a gathering of more than dishes and food. She protected their childhood around that island. She protected her family there.
She will take a walk and remember the long talks with her daughter. First, talks about nothing but everything. Then, talks about everything and everything. She will remember holding hands with her, laughing with her. Hearing her describe books and stories in such detail, she will remember how hard that daughter of hers held on to little, how that was so important to her. She will remember how it was important to both of them.
She will think of the puppies she loved and still loves, even though they have fulfilled their purpose and moved on. She will remember how soft and loving they were. How patient and playful. She will remember their tails wagging and the love they provided. She will remember how they made her home feel lived in and how they completed family. She will look down at the puppy she has now and thank her for continuing that love and support and comfort and company.
She will go and wake up her husband. They will take a walk together, hand in hand, puppy by their side, just like they started, all those years ago. He will talk about his day, she will talk about her memories, they both will remember the past too lovingly, painted with too many colors because the gray of the years no longer matter. The years of fog have been lifted, they did get to the other side, and they are happy, content. They have made mistakes, but they do not have regrets. They raised and they built and they loved and they continue to love and they created and they continue to create. They did not survive, they really enjoyed.
They will make plans that seem to take up the whole day. They will wonder where they found all that energy, where they found all that strength. They will worry their children are going at a speed that is much too fast, but they don't speak of this to them, they only offer support.
She will nap, she still loves a good nap, now more than ever. He will golf, he found the time and the passion. They will go out to dinner that night, they do that a lot now. As she dresses, she looks hard at her body. The one she fought hard for so long. She no longer does that. Time does that to you, it makes you realize all you have to be thankful for. Especially the body that carried you through so much. The body that carried two babies. The body that fought MS and her demons. The body that hurt. The body she hurt. She has healed all the pain and as she feels the wrinkles and skin and remembers the muscles she built, she knows how hard this body worked for her.
Later that night, they will enjoy a glass of wine outside and listen to the quiet. She enjoys it more than he does, she always has. But, she still gets misty at the thought of what was once there, just as she always has. Milestones still hurt her heart, but she knows this is what they were always going to get to. He deals with it so much better, he always has. He always realized the end goal and moved through phases with such ease, she always admired that about him.
She looks over at him, his gentle eyes. His smile. His hand in hers. She remembers the two young kids who smiled through so much. The ease of their love in the beginning. The work they put into it during the years of fog and exhaustion. But, this man, this person, well, he's special. Even at 80, you can still see the boy in him. The excitement in his voice when they call. The excitement he can't hind on his way to see them. He always loved them, even before he met them. Now that they are these people, he respects them, he admires them, he adores who they are, it's so much more than love.
She fell in love with this boy, she cannot explain her love of this man. He has stood by her through so much and she knows how lucky she got, he is her person.
They built a life. Things are slower, they are slower. Days are longer, time is moving too quickly. She takes such incredible comfort knowing that they did the best they could until they knew better and then they did better. She takes such incredible comfort in the long days and the memories of that home, that life. Of course, she is sad, but she is also content. She lived one incredible life, and she still is. She is still living, she is still here, she is still surrounded by love and comfort. It is what she dreams of every time she closes her eyes.
She is 80 and at peace.