An Aging Process

It’s always so shocking to see a progression of photos showing how the job of U.S. president ages a man.  Going through a multitude of photos of Mark in preparing for his memorial service, it was clear how the awful progression of disease and treatments worked him over.

Tonight, sorting and organizing some downloaded photos, I see how my time as caretaker has aged me. I feel it in my bones, in my joints and muscles, it shows in the texture and color of my hair, and most definitely on my face.

September 2010: self-portrait at work, three months before Mark’s diagnosis.   It was a beautiful rainy fall day. I’d recently turned 48 years old.

December 2011: self-portrait at home. Juggling caretaking, motherhood, and work/home duties. Mark had been through two rounds of chemo & radiation, two surgeries, multiple ER admits and hospitalizations. In less than a month, he’d be in radiation treatments for the third time.

March 2012. In Mark’s hospital room, about a week before he died.

April 2012: Self-portrait, three weeks after Mark’s death. A test-run at returning to work: am I ready for this?

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About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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8 Responses to An Aging Process

  1. Cat Court says:

    My daddy always told me that when you feel like you start looking older, all that means is that you’ve lived and loved, and what life is worth living if you haven’t done those things? You’re beautiful and wonderful, and I’m giving you mental hugs right now.

  2. aidanspirit says:

    I’m not sure I would call this aging, though. Tightening, yes. Steeling. Drawn. When I see these pix, I look at your mouth. Those closed lips, in a straight line. Lovely Vicki, though, no matter what.

  3. In the final photo, I see determination, more than anything. And very real bravery.

  4. Kelly Cotten says:

    When friends, old or new, remark in shock or mock horror that I look old, I quote Indiana Jones: “it’s not the years, kid, it’s the mileage.”

  5. Becky says:

    Vicky – You have a completely different expression on your face in the first photo than the other three. Your smile makes a huge difference. I think that smile will return eventually.

  6. BLB says:

    Lookin’ good to me!! 🙂 Your beauty shines from the inside. Unlike the president, your aging is reversible (and NOT as noticeable as you think!). Splash your face, dab on little of the ol’ makeup, and over-condition your hair, and tomorrow take another shot–with a great big smile on that face, and WOW the world……just like you always do. xoxoxoxoxo

  7. Ellen Key says:

    Happiness and sadness come and go. Character remains. All of your portraits show so much honesty and character. And beauty.

  8. cadyetx says:

    You are beautiful – inside and out.

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