So, I’m 95. It doesn’t seem very different than 85 or 75 — only when I look in the mirror and even then the image is so familiar. I’ve gotten used to the gradual changes over the years. It’s the same face, the same familiar expression. What does that expression convey? Why hasn’t it changed over the years? It seems to reassure me — tell me that I’m OK that I’m still a lucky lady — so get on with whatever you have in mind.
Would I want to have that image reflect a different Shirley? Of course, over the years, especially in my younger years, I hoped I would see a beautiful face, a face gazed on with envy by every onlooker.
Would I want that person I see in the mirror to have a different history, different memories? I don’t think so. I was born into a loving family, educated, easygoing, loving their lives and without any major problems or traumas.
Would I want to have chosen a different career? Definitely not! I chose the right one for a lifetime, with a moderate amount of success, and even had my fifteen minutes of fame!
But, come now, who are you kidding? Of course, you’d want your script to have had some different lines. Of course! I wish I had learned to play a musical instrument, been a talented tennis player, danced more under the stars, sung more songs, had more lovers, kept my husband alive to be by my side in my old age, had him next to me as we flew around the world one more time!
I wish I had had more impact on making the world a better place for my children and grandchildren as they grow old.
But as I look at the mirror one moment longer before I start on my 95th year, I sing to myself, to paraphrase Cole Porter's song, "Luck, be a lady today!"