I had a couple whopper pimples on my wedding day: like one on my chin, one on my cheek, and one that was subterranean, nesting until it could properly grace me with its presence when we stepped off the plane in Nice to start our honeymoon.
The photos that I carefully selected to be displayed in my house and in others don't capture the whole story - a great make-up artist, good lighting, and a killer photographer helped the situation too - so I had all but forgotten about the blemishes. That is until Peter and I in a moment of nostalgia this week went through the complete wedding reel to reminisce about a perfect day (minus a pimple or two.)
Seeing a couple shots where my skin looked a little like Jessica Simpson's before pictures in her Proactiv commercial, I remembered something I said on my wedding day. I shrugged and told myself, 'well it's probably better this way. So many brides look back and think that's the best they've ever looked and they're never going to look like that again. I on the other hand am glad there is room for improvement.'
Something about having a baby, the invasion of weird hormones, and a general lack of time leading to a make-up free existence has done wonders for my skin. And last night, as I looked in the mirror and threw my hair into a ponytail, getting reading to go to Grandma Shirley's birthday party, I had a little revelation. Maybe, despite all that we're told, women do get better with age.
A couple hours later, my theory became a conviction. Last night, I hung out with one of the most beautiful people I know. Her hair and nails are always done, she's always dressed to impress, and although she's just about 5 foot 1, there's no one that stands taller. Mostly though, the thing that makes her so radiant is her smile - a grin that captures 87 years of happiness each time it's shared with another person.
In that smile are the plains of Nebraska, the sun of Florida, and the snowfalls of Chicago; there are boat rides, and swims, and namastes; there are 24 trips to Paris and a world tour; there is an irreplaceable husband, three wonderful children, five grandchildren, and five more great grandchildren; there are thousands of loads of perfectly laundered laundry and hundreds of batches of cookies; there are all the patients and all her kids, nursed back to health; there is loss and there is pain, but there is the courage to always persevere; there is faith and an undying love for her family, friends, and life.
That is beauty. And I guarantee next year, SGS's radiance will shine even brighter. A couple pimples down and I'm hoping I'm on my way to be the same kind of 87-year old when I grow up.
Happy birthday Super Grandma Shirley.