I visited the Gold Hill, Colorado museum yesterday and a 65-year-old man came in with his 87-year-old mother who was visiting from Arizona. Both were in phenomenal physical condition. You’d have to be in order to be hiking around up here at 9K ft! They kindly introduced themselves to me.
The woman was petite with dyed blond, perfectly coiffed hair, casually and well dressed…makeup applied beautifully with a very young looking face. She was bright eyed, witty, engaging and spry. Something about her intrigued me.
I was leaving just a they came in and as I walked to the door I heard her son tell the museum keeper she was born in 1926…same year as my mother…it gave me a catch in my step. I was leaving to go do an errand for a friend and I just had to go back in to see this woman again. I couldn’t figure out what had my interest.
When I saw her again I realized what it was.
For years, I have wondered what my mother would be like now had she lived. What would she look like? How would she behave? I can only ever picture her the way she was in my memory. She died in 1978 from a brain tumor – seems like lifetimes ago.
I am imagining this woman, Patricia, was probably a pretty close image – one I couldn’t imagine, though now might observe. She even had on white white white KEDS tennis shoes!!! OMGrace – Mom wore those all the time when she didn’t have high heels on. She was always dressed well, had every red dyed hair in place (thanks to my sister who was a beautician), was outgoing and friendly – unless she was in a snit and then look out! She didn’t wear makeup, but she always had lipstick on and her eyes were bright, clear and sparkly.
I couldn’t hold back the tears, quietly letting them fall, swiping at them with my hands as I had no tissues. Grief came and went quickly and I was filled with gratitude for meeting Patricia. Somehow she helped me reconcile my wondering. I feel pretty sure had Mom lived to be 87 she would be just as beautiful as she always was – spry, adventurous, well dressed and with perfect white Keds adorning her feet.
With a fresh set of tears rolling down my face, I told the woman my story and offered her my gratitude for our meeting as something had healed in me. She teared up, grabbed me and gave me a hug, whispering in my ear…”I’ll keep you in my prayers honey” turning to leave with her son.
What a precious, auspicious moment that was.