i remember pointing out that mom had a few gray hairs scattered through her reddish black auburn. she was sensitive about them. she liked her natural hair color, liked telling how her mother-in-law thought she dyed it when it was really all her own beauty. liked telling me my hair would get as dark as hers one day. (still likes telling me although it is obvious to me and everyone else that i inherited dad's medium red-auburn hair and it's not going to get any darker though mom is still swearing it will, given time. uh, it's already had four decades but, whatever :) mom sang a verse of some old song, the falling leaves/ drift past my window/ the falling leaves/ of red and gold...i don't remember the rest except it ended "you're growing old!" i sang along with vigorous comic emphasis on that last line. but after two repeats mom didn't want to hear it anymore and said she felt too tired to keep pushing the swing and i was getting too heavy on her lap. so we gathered up her purse and the radio and walked back home. i couldn't understand what the big deal was about having a little gray hair or growing old. grownups got awful funny about that stuff sometimes. anyway, (i thought,) she WAS old (like, 44!), way WAY older than I was then.
i remember sitting on that swing with her every time i pass that park. or when i hear the carpenters' "close to you". or when i see wavy blackish-red hair shot with a little gray. my mom doesn't have that color hair anymore - we all end up dyeing eventually - but one of my friends has it and it's comforting to look at.