Jacqueline Smith(left) looks more youthful than most women decades younger. Helen Mirren(center) always dresses with confidence and is not afraid of her age but embraces it. Dame Judi Dench's(right) age is a badge of confidence and courage.
Jacqueline Smith, Helen Mirren still rock at 70!
PURPLE SHADES - Letty Jacinto-Lopez (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2019 - 12:00am

‘By the time we reach 70, we realize that we are but one drop in the great river we call life and that it has been a miracle and a privilege to be alive.’

The old gang is meeting up. Expect fireworks.

First is pretty Linda. She’s like American crooner Buddy Clark’s hit son: “When I go to sleep, I never count sheep, I count all the charms about Linda.” Assertive and fearless ("Hon, it comes with age“), Linda was remarkably candid sharing stories of her loves and the blunders that came in tandem with them.  Her mind, muddled and lost, caused her to cry in pain, knocking her head against the wall in an attempt to release anxious knots.

It sounded funny seeing her grimace at her “kapalpakan” but in retrospect, she could clearly pinpoint the exact moment when she lost it and why discernment was simply discarded, falling by the wayside.  “Ano ka?” I chuckled.  “Your life is like a series of unfortunate events?”  “Not all the time, naman!” she added.  “Only in my love choices.”

Linda tried three times, and ay caramba!  She’s the most irresistible, glamorous, thrice-burned woman we ever saw. Her lips red as wine, her hair streaked with gold and her nails painted Moroccan blue.  She wore this big rock from De Beers, complemented by a linen top showing off her shiny, tanned skin. She has become spiritual, too, trusting life‘s wisdom, serving in her church and community and living life with sincerity,  humility and kindness. 

“My first husband literally swept me off my feet and in a throb, I accepted his marriage proposal,” she continued.  “I didn’t know anything about him.  I should have taken a tight grip of the situation, and drew slow and easy breaths. Our marriage didn’t stand a chance.”

“What happened to the man you left in the lurch?” I asked.

 “He’s still around.  We see each other in common gatherings — anniversaries, weddings and funerals — but you can’t forever hold on to the past,” Linda shared. “I picked shattered pieces of my heart off the floor and moved on in search of meaning, peace and happiness.”

Linda hasn’t closed the door on Mr. Right. Could it be just a matter of counting until "forever four" appears?

Meanwhile, Linda developed resilience and now keeps a tight rein on her feelings. Since she’s still actively working, her sense of security is further boosted by a nest egg that willsee her weather through stormy days.  “I’m taking it slow and easy.”

Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist wrote, “In reaching 70, women have learned to look every day for humor, love and beauty.”

That’s three checks for Linda.

Then there’s Georgy. For her, it's the Seekers’ “Hey, there Georgy Girl, bring out all the love you hide and fly.”

Georgy came to our ladies lunch laughing uncontrollably. Her kasambahay Elena asked for an extended leave because she wanted to spend time with her aging parents.

Georgy, showing concern, asked, “How old are they?”  Elena raised her hands then clutched her chest and emphatically bawled, “Wow! Ang tanda-tanda, tanda talaga! Pareho silang 73!” (Both very old at 73!)  Georgy almost fell from her chair.  “What?  That’s my age!”

Check, Georgy Pie.

Fe, our Girl Friday, was literally floating on air. “Have you heard of Bohemian Rhapsody?  It won in the Emmys.”  Without batting an eyelash, I replied, “Of course!  I first heard it on Sesame Street in the '70s.”

Fe stifled a laugh.  “I’m referring to Freddie Mercury and the British rock band called Queen.”  “Huh?”  I asked.  Fe quickly showed music videos of their concerts and recordings, particularly the one where the band made a dramatic comeback as a reunited group in a fund-raising event called Live-Aid.

“Oh goodness!  I recognize those songs,” I exclaimed. “You must watch the movie about them,“ Fe suggested.  Quickly, I bought tickets for hubby and me.  His query, “Who are they?”

Inside the dark cinema, the crowd was eagerly stomping with a heavy beat, keeping time with the loud soundtrack.  Hubby was clearly enjoying it, now swept by its fast tempo. Imagine that?  Their songs have become iconic.

“Do you know that every major sports event is launched with these rah-rah tunes?” he enthused. The band, indeed, captured that boisterous and uncritical brio and excitement of their generation, and, in a sense, something we all feel when we cheer and endorse our favorite team, or cause or endeavor at any age.

The ’70s, ’80s and the ’90s were decades consumed by our growing family and career.  Our choice in music was limited to the sounds we comfortably recognized and sang and danced to. Arena-style, pop rock, although a popular genre, was not on my music list.  Now, I eat humble pie. Many songs were, indeed, crafted by talented and passionate artists and performers, a significant depiction of love and life, tears and triumphs in the new millennium.

Mary Pipher continued, “By the time we reach 70, we have all had more tragedy and more bliss in our lives than we could have foreseen. If we are wise, we realize that we are but one drop in the great river we call life and that it has been a miracle and a privilege to be alive.”

Linda, Georgy and I will definitely stomp, cheer, holler and clap, “We will, we will rock you!”  It‘s good to ascertain that we‘ve become the champions, too.  At 70. 

Check. 

HELEN MIRREN JACQUELINE SMITH JUDI DENCH
Philstar
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