Follow by Email

Have A Ramble, Rant or Rave you want to Share?

Would you like to share?
A Ramble - It can be anything that moved you to want to ramble on about it. A Rave? Noticed something you just want to Rave to others about? Or a Rant? - Well we know what a Rant is.

Email it to me and let me know how you want it signed. I promise not to disclose any more than you wish.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pain Before Beauty - Ramble


Pain before Beauty


In our early years, pain is limited to our personal experience; beauty is illuminated for us by what we are taught is beautiful. Our parents’ concept of beauty becomes our own until we journey further though life discovering for ourselves new perceptions.


My early perceptions of pain and beauty were gathered and learned by watching my mother dress. A wince as she plucked a few errant brow hairs, the apparent torture as she squeezed into a girdle, her shoes too tight yet they perfectly created the illusion of delicate feet. Time and again I asked, “Why do you do all of that if it hurts?” Her answer was always the same, “Pain before beauty”.


Even now, over the span of decades, her personal mantra, “Pain before beauty”, still echoes. To me, my mother was beauty. Her auburn hair glimmered gold when the sun touched it, ivory skin so soft when our cheeks touched I thought of velvet, lips full and painted red, and a waist so small that her full skirts and petticoats seemed to exist just to cling to it. The scent of Shalimar lingered to guard me as she moved to leave, her silks and satins playing a symphony.


As I watched the theater of my mother my perceptions of pain and beauty were simple; beauty was my mother and pain part of the quest for beauty, or perhaps just a scraped knee. Life visits itself upon me and pain no longer is as simple as a scraped knee or even a plucked brow.


Pain now encompasses heartache, betrayal, the suffering of those I love, lost innocence and the loss of faith. Beauty is a face that wrinkles with a smile, a mother nursing her child, courage in the eyes of a veteran, laughter, the innocence of a playing child, and unwavering faith. “Pain before beauty” became to me the mantra of a vain woman.


Ten years of fighting cancer left my mother little reason for vanity. Faith replaced vanity. Her mantra became the Hail Mary; instead of pearls she wore scapulars and clutched a rosary as she once clutched an evening bag. Her cheeks were now ashen and lined from pain, hair merely faded tufts clinging to her scalp, lips cracked and dry. The scent was of medicine; the symphony not of silk against satin but the drip of the IV against the faltering ping of her life monitor.


At the end, we waited as she lay in a coma; her eyes opened and looking past us at once focused on the crucifix on the far wall. The joy was complete; she saw what we could not, save through her eyes. She was not afraid; she smiled and nodded as if in answer to a question and then, in a moment of rapture her soul departed, leaving the smile upon her face.


Now, I realized that with faith she had a different beauty, and I truly understood - “Pain before beauty.”


“Pain before beauty” was no longer a vain woman’s mantra to me, but a courageous woman’s epitaph.

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget