I Belong to Me

Is my life half over
or has it just begun?
Do I regret where I've been
or celebrate it?
Do I hope for better days
or see the best behind?
Do I soldier on
or look for happiness unknown?

I'll take the second option
Knowing that with every new day
come challenges and rewards
Both of which I can meet
with strength and courage
that I didn't have years ago
when I was young and
knew everything.

My life is just beginning
children grown and spouse gone.
No one to answer to for what I want
but me.
Eating crackers for dinner if I want.
Watching a movie that makes me cry.
Spending my day doing nothing
if I so choose.

When you look at my eyes,
you may see the crow's feet
When you look at my body
you may see the strech marks.
But know that both have been put there
by the greatest things in my life - my children.
The joy, laughter and worry
that is the special provenance of a parent.

My body may have succumbed to gravity
but my spirit is soaring unfettered.
My body does not make me beautiful
That is the purpose of my soul.
The soul that has been torn and battered
by circumstance, fate, and my own choices
and put back together again.
imperfectly, but stronger for all that.

My life is not half over
It hasn't even begun.
There are things to explore
taste and experience
That I could only dream of until now.
More mistakes will be made,
but they will be my mistakes
and they will make me stronger.

Beth Shaw 10/18/01

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