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FIRST-PERSON: ‘Mom’s hair was as green as the bluegrass of Kentucky’

PADUCAH, Ky. (BP)–Some people I know can’t wait until they are 55 to get senior discounts at their favorite eating spot. Still others among us strive to hide the fact that they have lived long enough to get a break in life and are seemingly consumed with being forever young.

Since I fall in that class of people born before World War II (exactly one week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor), I feel somewhat assured that the face in my mirror has earned a right to grow old gracefully.

One thing I remember about my mother was that she couldn’t stand turning gray slowly. Actually what she said was, “I don’t mind getting gray, it’s just that it takes so long to get there.”

Her solution was one that still brings a smile to my face. Someone told Mom about a product, Mrs. Stewart’s bluing, to give her that senior adult look. Now, for you younger folk who may not know, this product was supposed to be used to whiten clothes.

Well, one Friday evening when Mom and Dad went to the grocery store she purchased a bottle of the stuff. One afternoon in the week following she colored her hair with it. Now, I will be the first to tell you that what I saw when I came in from school that afternoon was hilarious to a teenager, but horrible to Mom.

Mom’s hair was as green as the bluegrass of Kentucky.

My sister-in-law was busy trying to reassure Mom that everything would be all right. They washed Mom’s hair 13 times that afternoon. Alas, no matter what they did there was still a tinge of green in Mom’s hair! I made the mistake of laughing, which I quickly learned was unwise. Mom told me to march to my room until I could come out with a straight face. I stayed in my room until Dad came home at suppertime.

Looking in the mirror, I see a person standing there with strong resemblance to my mom staring back at me. At 59, I now know what Mom was thinking; these in-between stages of aging are the pits. I’m graying, but not fast enough to suit me. Every time I think about changing something in my appearance, I remember Mom’s green hair. I am content with growing gray gracefully and not helping nature along the way.

The Scriptures tell us that the very hairs on our head are numbered. The fact is, the Lord knows everything about our lives and our travels throughout life. That reminds me to pause and reflect for a moment, realizing that getting old is a gift from God, a season of change in our walk of faith. We need not worry about staying younger, looking more attractive or trying to find the fountain of youth. Our main concerns should be shifting our priorities from focusing on the face in the mirror to showing and telling others about Christ in our lives. When we do this our spirits will never grow old.
Carroll is a wife, mother, grandmother and author of 10 Christian books and 30 books and manuals on home-based businesses. She is a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, Paducah, Ky. Her son, Ray, is a columnist for BP Sports, at www.bpsports.net.

    About the Author

  • Frances L. Carroll