Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Thought I Saw Her Face In Mine

A couple of months ago, I was brushing my hair in the bathroom. As I looked in the mirror, I suddenly saw my mother's face in mine. It was a powerful moment. I got goose bumps as her face disappeared. Was it really Mom, or was it just my imagination? It doesn't matter, because I felt her with me. I miss her so much.

It makes sense that Mom would come and visit me while I was putting makeup on and brushing my hair. Mom always loved makeup. Her favorite brand was Estee Lauder. She called it Ester Laudee. Mom loved their perfume, their luxurious lipsticks, and their big round powder compacts.

Mom especially loved it when Estee Lauder had a gift with purchase. I can remember once, when I was a teenager, Estee Lauder sold a giant makeup ensemble with an enormous assortment of makeup, lipsticks, blush, powder, and big fat makeup brushes. It was so cool. After all these years, I found the container in one of her drawers after she'd passed away.

As soon as Mom heard of an Estee Lauder gift with purchase, she would send one of us to Nordstrom's to pick it up for her. And when the girls at the Estee Lauder counter saw Mom coming, they got extremely excited. It's no wonder Mom always looked so beautiful; she used their assorted creams and serums religiously. She always had extra makeup from all of the gifts that she got, and she shared them with us. We loved getting her leftovers.

I never wore lipstick. That is a very odd fact, being one of my mother's daughters. I rarely wore eye shadow, and used just a little bit of eyeliner and mascara. Then, just before Mom passed away, she gave me some lipstick from her latest gift set. They were in Summery browns and I loved the soft colors.

Not long after Mom died, I picked up my mother's makeup habits. All of a sudden I wanted to wear eye shadow. I took home some of the makeup that Mom had kept on her chest of drawers. For a few months they just sat in my bathroom drawer, but one day I found myself perusing the different choices, and started experimenting.

I still have some half-used blush sets and powder compacts of Mom's. I can't bear to throw them away. Mom wore makeup and perfume until the last week before she died. It was so endearing to see our tiny, frail mother, all dolled up with pink cheeks, and smelling beautiful.

Now I am now on Estee Lauder's mailing list (yeah, I signed up for it). I enjoy seeing their newest products, but I absolutely swoon when Estee Lauder offers a new gift with purchase. Yesterday I got an email about Estee Lauder's newest purchase with a purchase. It is a huge set. It has several eye shadow colors, lipsticks, blushes, and lots of makeup brushes. Mom would have loved it.

I'll have to buy a perfume to buy the gift set. It's a lot of money, and I probably won't use half of the makeup, but I love their perfume, and feel such an urge to buy it. Estee Lauder has even brought back some of the perfumes that Mom used to wear when I was a little girl. One whiff of her perfume takes me back to childhood. I used to lay in Mom's bed when she was in the hospital, smelling her favorite perfumes in her soft nightgowns. I missed her so much back then. I miss her so much now.

Some people say that when someone you love passes away, you forget all of the bad stuff, and just remember the good things. I see it differently. I haven't forgotten what's happened in the past, but I've realized that none of it matters anymore. What matters most is how much love is shared. I remember that she tried her very best. And Mom loved with all her heart.

When Mom was really sick last year, and in the hospital, she thought it was her time to go. She cried a lot, and held on tightly to my hand. I could tell she was afraid, and even sad. She wasn't ready to say goodbye yet. Through tears she said, "It's all about the love, isn't it Nancy? Love is all that matters in the end."

So if you see me wearing eye shadow and lipstick, or if you smell fancy pants perfume, will you remember Mom for just a moment? I always do.