Beautiful. That was my mothers favorite word: Beautiful. We (her children) ask
how this look Mama? her smile opens her face beautiful. How you feel today Mama? I feel beautiful. I learned the beauty of color existed outside a crayola box of crayons. I learned the deep reach darkness of black that carried starlight from my mothers eyes. I learned autumn brown gliding my small hand over her soft face. The boldness of red on her full lips. Beautiful! everything we did for the most part she thought was and is beautiful.
One of my baby brothers made Mama a lanp in woodshop came home with a big smile on his face. Mama took her ivory lamp with painted flowers off her bed stand which later I learned was an antique and replaced it with the unpainted childlike handiwork carving and turned the light on she gasped in happiness. Mama took a step back crossed her arms over her chest: Baby that's the most beautiful lamp I ever seen thank you. Each night she turned that light on and til she fell asleep.
That word over the decades of my lifetime of good-byes to family and friends leaving this earth took on deeper meaning like a old tree that roots run waaayyy deep and out to the street. Life is absolutely beautiful in every shade and form even on the days we challenged. Beautiful.
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