I saw through my Mom’s eyes yesterday, just for a moment.
I was at the mall when, off in the distance, my eyes were drawn to a flash of approaching color.
At first, I assumed the woman was in her 20’s, and dressed over-the-top even for that age.
As she got closer, I could more clearly see her ensemble — a riot of color.
Her blouse was shiny and sparkly — gold and silver. She was literally covered with beads and necklaces.
Her hair was long and brown and tied back. A bright, bright red scarf framed her whole upper body. An her wrists were stacked with bracelet after bracelet.
My thoughts of this approaching woman were not good.
Because I am judgmental, like that.
When the woman got closer, I could see that she was probably in her 50s, but there was no way to really know because she was so painfully thin and gaunt.
I realized that her gait was slow and labored, her arms, legs and neck stiff from what must have been years of painful arthritis.
That’s when I saw this woman through my Mom’s eyes.
So, instead of an “over-the-top” fashionista crying out for attention, I saw a courageous, unique, and totally authentic woman.
Someone who, despite her age, disability and today’s fashion trends, wore what she liked and what made her happy.
Bright and colorful and sparkly as you please, without really caring what the rest of the world thought.
If my Mom were alive and had been with me at the mall, she would have smiled so, so warmly at the lady and said something like: “What a wonderful, wonderful outfit you have. You must love bright colors, and you look so nice in them.”
She would have meant every syllable. And the other lady would have known it.
They would have chatted a bit about clothes, and maybe about their lives and grand kids.
They might have even talked a bit about each of their chronic health conditions — the mall lady’s arthritis, and the undiagnosed lung condition that kept Mom on oxygen 24/7, stealing her energy and eventually her life.
But, actually, I doubt it.
They would not have talked about their health issues.
Because it was much more fun to laugh.
To talk about bright colors and sparkles and grand kids.
And to make a new friend, just that quick.
Then they would have gone their separate ways, both the better for this brief moment in time.
(For Part Two of “Through My Mom’s Eyes” click here.)