The first thing she said when she saw this painting was, “Where do you think I can buy that blouse?”
My mother has always loved fashion. It didn’t come from her mother, or father. She was the first born girl (but please don’t ever introduce her as the oldest, she will have to say, “but the prettiest”) so it wasn’t handed down from siblings. They certainly weren’t a wealthy family. And the farm kids didn’t get to run to town to go shopping. Anyway, there was no mall.
But it was inside of her. Always. Maybe we don’t choose what will save us, but we choose to be saved. And she was. Always. A gloomy day, a broken heart, could forever be brightened at the mall. Lifted. Lightened. Colored. And eventually healed.
She gave me a small plaque when I was a little girl. A stained board. A little girl in a pink dress in front of a store window. It read, “Buy while the heart still swells with youth.”
In her 80’s now… or should I say nearly 80… (The back story to that is, she would always say, she was “nearly” that age, even well past — for example, driving to Chicago, she was at the wheel, and a little nervous to merge, and in her defense claimed, “Well, I’m nearly 60…” — 67 at the time. :)) I digress. Today, nearly 80, she still knows what can brighten her day, lighten her load, and keep her young. She is still that little girl in front of the window, dreaming, young, hopeful…her heart, swelling with youth, and she is saved.