Beauty is only skin deep……
How many times did we hear that growing up? How many mothers, have repeated that litany faithfully, through the emotionally compromised, hormone infused angst, that is adolescence? Sad to say, most of my own Mother’s reassurances in regards to my looks and personality, fell upon deaf ears. As a teenage girl, your main goal in life after all, is to be beautiful! That, and she could never provide a satisfactory answer to my smug accusation that no mother would tell her daughter she should be sporting a bag on her head in public, regardless of whether or not it was true!
I had forgotten most of those conversations, until the other day. An older lady, who wasn’t one of our regulars, came into the store. She was all done up, right down to her 1940’s hairstyle and red lipstick. What really got my attention, was her infectious smile and how absolutely beautiful she still was!
As I helped her shop, we chatted about her children and grandchildren. Her love and commitment to her family was very apparent! After the war, she married her high school sweetheart, who had been a sailor. While many of her friends were writing “Dear John” letters, she was admonishing her navy boy, to come home safely!
Her eyes welled up a bit, when she mentioned, he’d been gone 5 years now. She said there was never a doubt in her mind, he had been the one for her. Then she smiled at unseen memories, and laughed that there HAD been a time or two she’d had to set him straight!
She got out her wallet to show me a picture, taken of them together, right after he was drafted. I leaned forward, expecting to see a gorgeous girl, next to a strapping lad in whites. But there, in black and white, was a kind looking boy, and a girl next door with a sweet face! She wasn’t unattractive, but she wasn’t the beauty I had anticipated.
Watching her gaze lovingly at that picture, transported to what used to be, I realized that over the years, her inner goodness and strength of character, had become so much a part of who she was; when you looked at her, that beauty was all you saw.
As usual, Mom was right all along………