My mother has had to suffer more than her share and maintains a beautiful veneer of perfection as if she can will away any indication of fault or flaws with her idealized beauty.
I remember when I was a little girl I would watch in awe as she dressed for a night on the town. Her clothes always had a touch of perfume and she was impeccably groomed with movie star hair and make up. She would leave our home with much fanfare as if the papparazzi were waiting for her exit. I waited on the sidelines mesmerized by her rituals and in awe that the untouchably glamorous woman was my mother.
Today, as we took our seat in the restaurant I studied her features as discreetly as I could and wondered how she maintained her flawless beauty while carrying a heart filled with more pain than anyone should endure. Even though I could not help but express my admiration of her fortitude and beauty in spite of it having been several decades since
the seas parted when she arrived anywhere.
She remained humble in spite of my complements although they really were genuine.It was as if she felt the need to apologize for having not been what she was before. It made me sad that she seem to not feel worthy of my complements.The lush, luminescent beauty that radiates in one's prime, morphs into a more complex kind of beauty with the years.
I find my mother even more beautiful with the passing of the years. She has a quiet dignity and has made peace with her private pain. Even though we spoke of meteor showers and cures for diseases in the up and coming future, it is the subtext of her life that keeps me in awe. I am past the point of blaming my mother for my own short comings as progeny often do. It is simply the " now " that I want to freeze frame. Making the memory of this " pause in time " is all that any of us really have. Memories stored in the archives that comprise what we are made of, is where the truth resides. I have learned to cherish the stories guarded in the subtext of our lives.