My mom is beautiful in her laughter – mouth wide-open, teeth shining. She says she married Dad for his sense of humor. She shrugs when you ask about how they met and says, “He made me laugh.”
My mom is beautiful in how much she looks for the good, the bright, the joy, the adventure. She gets excited, like a little kid, about a sunset or an unexpected short line at Disney world.
When my mom was in the hospital after emergency surgery to remove her remaining ovary, parts of her colon, and the tumors that grew on each, large tumors – one the size of a grapefruit (benign) and one smaller (cancer) – when she was shell-shocked from the cancer diagnosis, her gown open in the back, her smile faltering at the indignity of it all, I brushed her silver hair that she would soon be losing. It reflected the hospital lights like a sheaf of shining silk. She sat up and I rubbed lotion into her shoulders and was shocked by the young beauty of her skin – tan, smooth, unwrinkled after fifty-plus years in the sun. Her skin felt supple, pliable, like kidskin. My mom is beautiful.
My mom is beautiful with her newly grown hair, her unwavering smile, her three-years-cancer-free celebrations. Dad took her to The Breakfast Club at Tybee the morning she woke up three-years-cancer-free. For three years they’ve toasted something at the end of each day – a toast to the hummingbird at the feeder, a toast to visiting grandchildren, a toast to Alaska on their cross-country RV trip, a toast to the breath that still enters their bodies. Because my mom is beautiful, and she appreciates what she has.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, and happy birthday, Dad!
This was inspired by a Yoko Ono art installation titled “My Mommy is Beautiful.” I visited a local installation last fall.