My grandma Iva explained a day would arrive in my life that would mark the end of being a fertile woman.
"The window of opportunity to have children completes itself," Grandma Iva said. "A door opens and then you become a grandma. But trust me, you don't have to be an emotional terrorist or act like a big baby to your family while doing it."
It seemed so long ago, listening to the family stories of wacky women who came unhinged during menopause. My grandma refused to be a part of the crazies, and made it a point to me to make sure I would not join in the fray. As I got got older, I realized all that she had taught me was basically learning to be decent to each other and hold on to a peaceful heart in all things.
My mother, god love her, didn't fare quite so well during the change of life. I watched that ride to crazy town she found herself trapped on with shock. Mad one minute, crying the next, I didn't want anything to do with it.
Now it's my turn in the grand scheme of things.
My husband and I are a May/December romance. He is the May, while I'm trying to refuse to go gently into the cool days of autumn.
It took me a while to admit to him how much he meant to me, while asking me to marry him for over a year. He's young, and if he wanted a family - no matter how much I might wanted to have another child - I could not give him that gift. I didn't want to take that part of life away from him. He's a good man and would be a good father to a child.
I'm a little rough around the ages, been known to make sailors blush a couple of times and I'm definitely not into girly things. (Well, I used to be that way.)
"I love that you are just you," he has told me many times. "My wife, a woman who doesn't need to dress up or wear a painted face to prove beauty. Don't ever change."
Now comes the dilemma of menopause.
Haven't gone crazy, even though I've been working through that dreaded peri-menopausal time. But I am experiencing an unusual side-affect.
"Menopause has turned you into a girl," my husband said as I looked through fingernail polish recently at a local store.
It's not only nail polish, but I've bought new make-up this winter and have found myself liking shopping bags and of all things, including hats, boots and wearing dresses and skirts!
I also hate to admit this, but there's pink in my wardrobe and jewelry hanging from a hook in the bathroom. I use hairspray once-in-a-while and even got out the hair dryer. I think the last straw was my husband catching me putting on lip gloss the other day.
The look on his face was priceless.
"Not quite sure who you are anymore," my husband teases. "Menopause made my wife a girl."
In my defense, I guess it's about time.