Lit from Within: On A Personal Note

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

On A Personal Note

Hello, Fireflies!

If you're just here for the beauty stuffs, then you'll want to skip this post.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday.  Some of you know that I lost my mom last month to a very aggressive form of brain cancer. 

My mom loved beautiful things.  She sewed a lot of her own clothes and would match EVERYTHING.  Even when she would buy pieces, they somehow always matched exactly.  She had purses, shoes, and accessories to match perfectly, and she loved wearing brooches and pins.  She wore bright orange and red lipsticks.  She loved dark blue-grey eyeshadows and liquid eyeliner.  To the last, she had flawless skin - even though she was almost 79 years old.  She took care of her skin and always wore sunscreen.

My mom loved sunflowers and hummingbirds.  She loved gardening.  Growing up, our yard was full of fruit trees, and she grew the best tomatoes.  Even when she stopped trying to fight the birds and pests for the fruit and switched to mostly flowers, we still had a giant fig tree that had amazing fruit, and she still grew tomatoes.  Our house had giant hydrangea bushes in the front, and a Weeping Willow tree that I would often sit under.

I am almost nothing like mom, but I am also very much like her.  I love red lipstick, too, but I wear so many other colors she'd never try.  I don't wear a lot of matchy-matchy outfits, but I enjoy matching in subtle ways, like matching my nail polish to my outfits.  I went through a phase in my teens where I wore nothing but black and white or cream, and she hated it.  She fought with me all the time to wear color.  I wonder if she knew I refused to only because she wanted it so much.  I also hate gardening.  I have a black thumb and kill almost everything.  Plastic flowers struggle to survive in my care.

If there's one lesson I've taken to heart that I've learned from my mom, it's to own my idea of beauty.  It's not that she told me this - in fact, she had very specific ideas about what a girl should look like, wear, and behave - and I didn't conform to hardly any of these ideals.  My messy, wild curls were such a trial to her, and are one of the things I now love most about my appearance.  She thought black nail polish was only for the Bad Girls, and blue polish was crazy, and I wear every color on my nails that I want, and crazy nailart, too.  She spent most of her life fighting her own, (and my) weight, too - and when I look back on pictures of us, I wonder why she spent so much time being obsessed by it.

Life really is too short.  Mom had a prized bottle of Chanel No 5 that she only wore for 'special occasions' and it went bad before she could use much of it.  I wear my fancy perfumes and diamonds to shop at Target.  Eat pizza on the china.  I want to enjoy my body for what it can do for me while I'm on this Earth.  To wear purple lipstick, and glitter all the things.  To be a firefly, to be lit from within.

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