By Courtney L. Gillard

When I was a little girl, I used to notice a few of the older women at church sitting next to their husbands, and they looked like a pair of older men, one with a wig.   So, I asked my Mom why this was, and she tried to tactfully explain menopause to me, and how some women can lose their feminine traits…my poor mother!  This stuck with me though, and then when I grew 4 inches in the summer of my 16th birthday, from 5’4” to 5’8”, I was suddenly a tall person and still without my period.   That came later that year.

Fast forward to growing a couple inches taller after 18, with some athletic physicality, and now I was watching Maude on Golden Girls, (and I apologize to Bea Arthur for this), thinking I would eventually be a big, tall man one day!

This is my joke I share with my husband, who is a bit older than I, and says he’ll be too blind to notice anything at that point in time, and laughs when I ask about people thinking I’m his younger, taller brother.   I know…I go overboard on this.

I’m afraid I’m on the final menstrual cycling countdown now, and possibly earlier than usual, because I started late (I’ve heard that, but don’t really know if it’s true)?  Who knows if it will last a couple more months or for 10 more years?  Sometimes it comes, sometimes not.   Sometimes, I get all of the PMS, and then nothing.   Maybe it comes for a day and goes, but when it does come, it is certainly irregular and unpredictable.   Not like the good old days, when I could stock my purse with tampons appropriately, easily schedule a doctor’s appointment knowing my last month’s day.   I could count on the light and heavy days like clockwork.   I also knew that all of the swelling and irritability would pass once it came–popped like a balloon with immediate release and relief, excluding cramps of course. I must prepare myself for the end now, and try not to fret over this inevitable change.   But for now, while it is still here with me, I will cherish and embrace my old friend, and shout as if from the rooftops, but actually just to my husband…

“I’m still a girl!”    


By Courtney L. Gillard, co-author of Mommy LaDy Club and Designer of LaDy LaDuke…
Unique Items For Mothers & Women, a handmade business she shares with her sister and business partner.


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