Friday, November 30, 2012

Outer and Inner Beauty...

Part 1:  Outer Beauty...

I've mentioned before that my mother was admittedly vain.  There were many reasons for this.

First of all, she was gorgeous.  

Her hair was naturally long and  blonde. Later in life, it gracefully grew into a wonderful silver.  She never dyed it.

I don't remember ever seeing cellulite on her thighs or buttocks.  

My mother modeled professionally, sometimes in a bikini, when she was in her mid thirty's AFTER having given birth to her three children.  

Where my mother's sister was valedictorian, my mother was beautiful.  Where her sister was a concert pianist, my mother was beautiful.  

You get the picture.  

This became my mother's worth, in her mind.  This was why she felt valued.  This was her identity.  She loved being beautiful and my father loved having a beautiful wife.

My mother hated aging.  She spent money on all kinds of lotions, creams, toners, scrubs, masks, make-up and gadgets to help her look young. 

Once she bought a skin toning machine that sent electrical pulses to facial muscles making them contract and twitch.  Billed as a non-surgical face lift, believe me, it didn't feel pleasant.  

When she discovered they didn't work, she'd give them to me. Except for the machine.  I'm not sure what happened to it. I don't think I've ever gone to the Nordstrom's make-up counter and purchased any type of facial product.  

I just used what she gave me.

Recently, my father decided to clean out all of her stuff from their bathroom.  

It filled four grocery bags. 

Here's a very small portion of what I kept. There's eye cream that's like Spackle, lip plumping salve, reverse gravity serum and face firming potions.   

I also discovered disposable contacts to make her eyes bluer.  I tried using one, but just couldn't quite get it into my eye.  But if you notice my eyes look especially vibrant blue one day, you'll know I succeeded.

Surprisingly, my mother never had a real face lift.  Maybe because she didn't like doctors. But with a cruel twist of fate, she did have two facial surgeries to remove basal cell carcinoma. 

The first one was about five years ago.  

She had a spot below her eye next to her nose that she prayed over.  She also applied natural ointments. We would tell her to go to a doctor and get it checked, but she refused, saying God would heal it.

Eventually, it grew so large my father made her go to a doctor.  She was diagnosed and had a very substantial surgery.  When it healed, I was amazed at what a great job the plastic surgeon did.

Sadly, my mother told my neighbor that because her family did not agree with her in prayer for her healing...God didn't heal her.

I was dumbfounded.

Later, she told me it wasn't really cancer.  The doctors were wrong.

I was dumbfounded again.

I hesitate to share these stories about my mother, because I don't want you to think she was crazy or that I didn't love her.

My mother coped with her life in the best way she knew how, by grabbing onto a theological system of faith with the tenacity of a pit bull, even though it didn't fit her reality.  

And she never let go.

I wish her reality had matched her beliefs...

I loved her very much.

"Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.  The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear of God."
Proverbs 31:30

Next Part 2: Inner Beauty...

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