Getting old is a curse, at least that's what they say. After working and earning all your life, the only thing left is to watch your body slowly fail and your happy memories fade into nothing. Without anyone around to look after you, it can be a miserable thing. Which is why this story is all the more touching. When an elderly resident in a Texan nursing home though that all her former beauty had gone to waste, along came one young woman to prove her wrong...
The Beautifully Positive Brandalyn
It's hard to find a better example of the beauty of human kindness than Brandalyn Mae Porter. The cheery twenty-something from San Antonio positively beamed happiness into every life she touched, not least the residents at the nursing home where she worked. There, she turned even the most mundane moments into ones of joy...
Doing Her Nails
On this particular day, Brandalyn decided to brighten up the days of some of the ladies there by doing their nails. When she got to one elderly woman, she asked her what color she'd like for her hands. "Just clear," came the response, but this didn't seem fun enough for Brandalyn. She suggested pink, but the response that she got was heartbreaking...
The Heartbreaking Response
The elderly woman didn't want hot pink nails. Why? Not because pink wasn't her color, or that it would clash with her evening gown. The reason she didn't want them, she said, was because her hands were "ugly", and the pink polish would only draw attention to her unattractive age. Brandalyn was shocked and upset. So she went ahead and did it anyway...
The Hands Go Viral
Finally convincing the women to go for pink, Brandalyn then posted the pictures of the hands online. The result was instant and wonderful, and the photos went viral. In an internet filled with hate and fury, their overwhelmingly positive reaction to this old lady's hands were a warm reminder of our inherent love for everyone.
The reactions range from the gushing to the heartfelt. "I wish I could have hands as beautiful as yours," one commenter wrote. "So gorgeous," another posted. "As beautiful as they come." Messages flooded in from across the globe, filled with admiration for this brave woman who had lived through things we could never have dreamed of.
An Aging Population
As people have fewer and fewer children, and choose a single life over that of commitment and family, the growth rate in most developed countries has shrunk dramatically. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of US residents aged over 65 will double by the time that we hit 65, putting a greater strain on caregivers and our social systems.
Appreciating Real Beauty
And as our population ages and young people become fewer, our ideas of beauty will change dramatically. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and nowhere is this saying more apparent than amongst our elderly. They may have wrinkles and saggy butts, but they have style, grace, and warm senses of humor that many of us may never achieve. And that's the real beauty.
A Life Well Lived
It all comes down to your personality, and that comes down to the way you live your life. You can be the hottest model in the world, but if you live a shuttered life, you're never going to match up to the daring and courage of a woman, no matter how old, who has gone out and achieved things she's always dreamed of. This is what Brandalyn was trying to prove to this woman...
How Did She Explain This One?
As the well-wishes and admiration came flooding in, this just left one thing to consider. How exactly was Brandalyn going to explain Instagram and Twitter to a woman who hadn't seen the internet until she was eighty years old? How would you explain where all this love was coming from? Lucky for Brandalyn, this elderly woman - as most of them are - was as smart as a tack. She may not have known the tech, but she understood.
A Message For Us All
Hopefully, Brandalyn's inspiring story and her wonderful treatment of the elderly lady will be an inspiration to us all. Respect for the elderly may be a way of life in, say, Japan, but it's not necessarily so in the US. We often just dump them in nursing homes and try to forget about them. Maybe it's time that that changed. Maybe it's time that we recognize how beautiful our parents, grandparents, and elderly neighbors really are.
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