We were unloading the car in the blustery wind. Cold. Emotional. Weary. We flung ourselves back into the front seats. Caught our breath. She looked at me and said, “Did you just put on make-up? You look great!” “I have frostbite,” I replied.
I suppose it’s our challenges, our most vulnerable moments, that give us beauty.
A year ago we visited the foundation of Van Dyke Road, the Norton family. Jim took me to the basement. I stood in front of the wall of fame – the family pictures. There was Phyllis, his beautiful young bride. “Wow,” I thought, “She was a dish!” Jim nodded in agreement. She was coiffed, snuggly dressed, as sleek as the car she leaned against. A real beauty!
In the past few days I have seen tear-stained, aging faces. The last living mother from Van Dyke Road, Phyllis Norton, approached me at my mom’s funeral. Fragile. Obviously shaken. She said it all went too fast. It all came too soon. And all around her flashed sunburned shoulders, tennis shoes kicking up gravel, and wet haired, knee skinned days of summer youth. She gathered me into it all with a mother’s arms. As I came out of the embrace, her reddened, wrinkled eyes, never looked more beautiful!
Allow others in. Allow yourself in. Grace can be messy, but nothing will give you more.