Describing Me

My father, Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman/Albert B. Cleage about 1975.

I look a lot like my father did when he was my age.  I turned 67 in August, 2013. Usually, I hope people will not notice much of what I am going to tell you here, but because it is the 3rd prompt in the “Story of Me, by Me”, I am going to share it.  My hair, once sandy, now is grey, rapidly turning white.  It’s not as thick as it once was, although it still covers my head pretty well.  I have some age spots on hands and face. I’ve got one or two extra chins and 75 extra pounds. My hands are wrinkling up like they’ve been gathered. I’ve got dark circles under my eyes and dark eyelids. I’ve worn my hoop earrings 24/7 since I had my ears pierced at 15 and the earlobes are sagging a little, as is everything else.  My eyes are still blue/grey and my brows are still arched.  My eye lashes are almost missing.  My complexion has a reddish hue.


My feet have calcifications on the achilles tendons from long ago ignoring symptoms I should have paid attention to. Due to the feet going bad, I was unable to continue my fast 4 mile daily walks and put on weight, which I still haven’t gotten rid of.  I used to be 5 ft 7 in, now I’m lucky if I’m still 5’6″. Allergies I never had before make my throat, eyes and ears itch when the air is bad or the pollen is high or a cat is around. I have a c-section scar, stretch marks, skin tags, several chin hairs and too many flat moles to count.  Any childhood scars have faded away.

I’ve got high blood pressure, high Cholesterol and low thyroid.  My eyes are getting worse. I can’t read without glasses and now need them for viewing performances or anything in the distance.   My teeth are my own and I have all of them, minus one and the wisdoms. Many have fillings or crowns. I wear 1X or 2X or, even better, one size fits all.  I prefer to go barefooted. Never wear heels and dress for comfort.  That used to mean jeans and t-shirts, now it mostly means skirts and loose blouses.  I’m about to move to only flowing garments. I prefer pictures where I am smiling.

My husband Jim and me, summer 2013.


26 thoughts on “Describing Me

  1. I can empathise with lots of the ageing issues Kristin. You surely do take after your Dad. you have such a lively smile and I’ll bet Jim loves you just as much as when you were a teenager.

    1. Well, yeah. And he’s falling apart too, so we have each other and can still see ourselves and each other as we were back then at the same time as we see ourselves now. That in itself is priceless.

  2. Just beautiful…I can identify with the loose blouses statement 🙂 You do look a bit like your Dad don’t you? It’s the hairline more than anything I think. I’ve been told variously that I look like my father, my mother, my paternal aunt, my maternal 2nd cousin….it gets confusing after a while!

    1. Mostly I’m told I look just like my father. Looking at the two of us together, I can see some differences I didn’t realize. I have been told I look like my mother’s mother though. She looks noting like my dad so…

    1. Thanks Jill. I really thought about just putting a photo up there and leaving off the catalogue of decay but I didn’t. And now I better get ready to go for my slow morning walk.

  3. You are a beautiful woman who yes looks a lot like your father. Thank you for sharing your “catalog of decay.” Hey, we are all in the process of decay. It’s whether we let that stop us or not and it hasn’t stopped you.

  4. Kristin,

    As always there is something very natural, appealing and easy reading.Not to mention nicely to put together, in a way that flows, a bit like the dress you are wearing in the picture. I love the photo next to the one of your Dad, you look so alike. I also like the scrolling picture shots of you. We are all ageing, even those just under 45, sadly thing are starting to head south already, but as long as we are all happy and content then that is what matters. Great post and I am so glad you are taking part in the BOM!

  5. You are beautiful and, yes, you look like your father. Your description of yourself could be me minus the sandy hair, eye, skin coloring, and I have more missing natural teeth. Its all good, at least today it is. 🙂

  6. Dear Kris,

    This latest post is probably the best example of why I trust you to faithfully relate history — your family’s, our people’s and in general. Who else, and particularly what other women, would offer such a clinical, unsparing personal catalog or inventory “Describing Me”? No one else; just you.

    This speaks well of both your honesty and your respect for detail, which are also a part of the “me” that your catalog describes.

    I’m also impressed that it’s devoid of judgment or self-pity. Perhaps this is because you recognize that, were such a catalog to be made of many of your contemporaries, it would describe persons who are in senior homes, hospitals or graveyards.

    You, on the other hand, remain mentally and physically vital, as I’m sure Jim could testify. (Smile.) You’re not only engaged with your family and friends, but also, in terms of your interests, studies and associations, with the world — past, present and future.

    I wonder if you realize that, by daring to call myself “Your Li’l Bro’,” I’m not flattering YOU, but rather flattering myself to presume that I COULD be related to someone as wonder-full as you.

    I adore you, Kris — catalog and all, which, in truth, barely scratches the SURFACE of all of the “me” that it only BEGINS to describe. The rest is for your family members and friends to do, which is what the posted responses reflect.

    So I have the honor to remain, at least in my imagination,

    Your Li’l Bro’,

    Paul, who could only hope to “Be like Kris”

    1. Thank you Paul. i do feel kind of sorry for myself sometimes, especially if I’m listing all the above, but I keep on truckin’ because I might be around another 20 + years and I don’t want to waste a bit of it.

  7. And when are you ever not smiling?

    I think those flowing garments really suit you. I’m envisioning a Maya Angelou sort of look.

    You really do look like your dad!

  8. That was quite an exercise! I agree with your Li’l Bro’, that you do it with unsparing honesty but without wallowing in self-pity. (I should try it, but fear I would keep slipping into bathos.) If the prompt was really to write “a catalog of decay,” then I think it fulfills it amply; but otherwise, even though I know you only by this blog, I agree with the comments above that it “leaves out so much of what makes you beautiful.” Your bro’s moving tribute says it all. I enjoyed looking at you and your father side by side and then appreciated seeing the radiantly happy photo of you and your husband, which, in capturing that one moment, shows us everything that the catalog left out.

    You have your father’s eyebrows, and then some! Wonderful!

  9. I’ve been surprised how at different stages of my life I look like different relatives. When I was a teen I looked almost exactly like pictures of my maternal grandmother. But, now as an older woman, I can see little similarity between myself and pictures of my maternal grandmother in her later years. But I think that I now look more like my paternal grandmother.

  10. I have an immune deficiency and treatment put weight on me. Two years ago I had a gastric bypass. It’s the best thing I ever did, and would do it once a year if I had to. I am stronger and healthier now, and happier also. I dropped 80 pounds. Forget facelifts, this is the ticket. No more arthritic feet and knees, no more elevated blood pressure. Diabetes under control, and my blood pressure is just pretty. Only my cholesterol remains high, and the doctor says that just may be genetics. No more size 20, back to a 10-12. I eat sensibly and am a happy camper.

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