Friday, May 10, 2019

My Mother Is Beautiful.

It's something I've heard all my life: "Your mother is so pretty."

There was a little boy in a department store who thought she looked like Eva Gabor. Might have been Zsa Zsa, but the kid was referencing Green Acres, I am pretty sure. I've heard Kim Novak suggested, too, and I personally think she's a little closer to target.

She has delicate features and lovely skin and a smile that warms the coldest room like a roaring fireplace. She has sparkling brown eyes a suitor once proclaimed "like pools of black ink." (He was not a poet.)

Her sartorial style is elegant and tasteful. She favors classics in beautiful colors and a vintage rhinestone brooch to sparkle alongside her.
Her sparkle wins. Every time.

These are all lovely attributes, but they don't constitute my mom's beauty. There is so much more than meets the eye when you're talking about an entirely beautiful person.

To see beyond, you'd have to know about the little girl in her Sunday School class years ago, who had perfectly serviceable parents of her own, but chose my mother to cling to constantly and regard as hers.
Because she saw Mom's heart.

You have to know about the ladybug houses she helped my Cousin Debi build, the adventures and projects she concocted to entertain an entire generation of my family.

About her fried baloney sandwiches made especially for my Cousin Hal.

About her incredible musicianship at a baby grand piano, and how she encouraged me to sing along even though cats have sounded better in midnight alleys.

She can produce an oil painting of flowers so detailed and vivid, they've been proudly displayed in other people's homes for generations.
She was about sixteen when she painted those roses.

You have to see her completing a crossword puzzle containing words no normal person has ever heard.
In record time. In ink.

You have to witness her love affair with books, which has translated into an astounding body of knowledge and a curiosity that is never sated.

Her lady in Publix who waits for her with a smile and a hug every time, or countless other people in countless other stores she frequents who light up when she walks in.
They call her by name.
They remember her because she's kind and they've witnessed that kindness over and over.

She is an extraordinary grandmother who took our toddler son into a North Carolina creek daily to move rocks that probably didn't need moving, but it was their project. Together.

Her granddaughter remembers Gran taking her downstairs to her meticulously tended garden at night to pay a magical, candlelit visit to a frog.

And I remember my mom, reading Hiawatha to me at bedtime, holding my hand through every joyful and heartbreaking thing in my life, building me up, making me laugh, constantly teaching kindness, thoughtfulness, thank you notes, generosity, and graciousness. 

She is love, in one lovely package.

My mother is beautiful.
Yours is, too, whether she's by your side or in your heart.

Happy Mother's Day.

One of my all time favorite photos: My mother with her mother and a couple of questionable characters

Love from Delta.