"You don't look 90."
People constantly tell me that. Why? Someone keeps sending out an email announcing that I’m 90. No wonder so many people write emails like these:
“It seems you are aging rapidly. God bless you and your aged bones.”
“You sure look good for 90 years old! Do you have a painting of you in your attic that is getting really REALLY old looking?"
No, there's no Dorian Gray picture decay going on.
I’m officially an Urban Legend. You can find me on Snopes.com, right up there with myths about baby carrots.
The Internet aged me. The day before I turned 45, I wrote a column of the 45 Lessons Life Taught Me. I added five more lessons when I turned 50. My Life Lessons ended up e-mailed around the world. Only someone changed my age on an email to read: "Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old." Then someone attached a picture of lovely old lady to the email. No, that dear senior citizen isn’t me.
For the record: I’m only in my 50’s. I hated to break the news to Berthabelle in Eugene, Ore. who wrote: "We are the same age except I was born on November 1, 1918. Hope some day we can hear from one another. Isn't it great that we are both ninety? Lovingly, Bertie."
Bertie, I hope to see 90. After having breast cancer at 41, I’m thrilled to grow old.
Growing old beats the alternative – dying young. That’s one of my life lessons. People have sent my lessons across the globe. That’s why I turned them into books, first God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours, and now, Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible.
The lessons reflect what I learned from life as a single parent for 18 years, struggling to find the right partner in life, battling breast cancer and healing the bruises from a bumpy childhood. And they reflect what I’ve learned from readers as my 27 years as a journalist.
I'm grateful to all who forward my life lessons and keep my name on them. One day I received an anonymous essay about the cost of raising a child. It seemed oddly familiar.
"What do you get for your money? Naming rights. First, middle and last. Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. A hand to hold, usually covered with jam…"
Wait a minute. I wrote that. Ten years ago.
When I was 100.