I took my nieces and nephews to a playground to enjoy the beautiful fall day, golden sun streaming through green leaves just barely beginning to turn oranges and yellows, a day just cool enough you needed a light jacket. Somewhere among all the swinging and sliding, I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a rather large blue bruise on my calf in a faded out mirror on the side of a giant plastic fire truck slide. How in the world did I get a bruise halfway up my calf? Who knew? I bruise so easy a feather brushing up against me could leave a purply blue smear.

After I dropped the kids back to their respective parents, I made my way home where I immediately stood in front of my full length mirror examining the “bruise”. Sweet, Jesus! It wasn’t a bruise. It was the beginning of an enormous varicose vein that more closely resembled the dark blue lines of the Mississippi River zig zagging down a Rand McNally road map. My heavens, I was only thirty-five years old. Weren’t these reserved for wrinkled up old blue haired ladies? Just as I was convincing myself it was barely noticeable, nothing a bronze hue from a couple of trips to the tanning bed couldn’t cover up, my husband walked in. Horrified, I pointed to the protruding vein and asked him if he thought it was noticeable. “Oh, yeah. I noticed it a few weeks ago, especially that kinda knotted part at the bottom of it.”

I burst into tears. Uncontrollable tears. Sobbing, whimpering, scrunched up nose tears. At first, Brian thought I was joking. I’m not a cryer especially over some silly vanity thing like this but it was at that point that I came to a shocking realization. No matter how many squats, crunches or lunges I did, no matter how diligent I was in applying my high dollar face cream, no matter how many calcium capsules, omega 3 fatty acid gel caps or Women’s One a Days I swallowed up, there was nothing I could do to stop the aging process.

After the crying spell ended, I flew into a tirade. “Do you know how hard I’ve worked to finally have calf muscles just for them to be ruined by this nasty vein?” “Honey, your legs look great, especially when you wear those spiky black high heels,” Brian tried to reassure me. “No, they don’t,” I seethed. “They do, I promise,” he continued trying to calm me down.

No amount of kind words, flattery or little white lies were going to smooth this over. He had noticed this big old vein and not breathed a word to me. How many times had I had food in my teeth and he just let me keep on talking? Had my skirt been caught up in my pantyhose and he turned a blind eye? What else had he noticed and kept to himself?

After alternating between cussing and crying for about an hour, two things dawned on me. One, the only way to completely stop the aging process is to die and I sure liked being alive. Getting old wasn’t so bad considering the alternative. While I can exercise, eat right and do my best to preserve this body, crow’s-feet will eventually creep in, stuff will begin to sag or sag more, and the elasticity in my skin will go like a snapped rubber band. That is just a part of life.

What was the second thing that dawned on me? Every morning at 6:00 News Channel 5 runs a commercial for some vein doctor. I better go to bed. I got to get up early tomorrow.

Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.