While her husband sat, mouth taut, fists clenched, jealousy raging, Mom danced. She and Chris whirled around the room with abandon.
I watched, camera in hand, from the middle of the massive glass doors which had just been pushed wide open upon my entrance into the grand retirement home where Mom lived. Click. Click. Click. The smile on her face said it all, and I had captured it.
Later, after pulling the photographs off my memory card, I smiled again upon remembering the sheer joy I had seen on her face.
Last March after Mom died I used one of the photos for her obituary; I wanted her friends to see her undeniable happiness; something that had eluded her for many years.
A few days ago I came across the photo unexpectedly while searching for something unrelated. Though I had seen the photo a handful of times already, this time I noticed something I hadn’t picked up on before: Mom was staring and smiling contentedly AT HER WEDDING RING.
Instantly I knew.
Instantly I was standing in her body, her powerful mind transporting us both to the ecstasy of true romantic love; she was dancing with my father, the love of her life.
I find it both fascinating and comforting that prior to me having found the love of my life, I hadn’t noticed the stunning significance of the photo. Despite forty-four years of being apart, my mother never stopped loving my father, and though she wore another man’s ring on her finger, what she saw was the ring my father had given her nearly sixty-six years prior. In that moment with Chris, the dance instructor, she was gloriously transported to a magical evening from the past.
Perhaps today Mom is smiling from Heaven at the timing of my unexpected revelation–how it coincides so nicely with the fact that I have finally found my own true love. It’s really all she ever wanted for me: to be truly happy. I am Mom, I am.
I think I’ll take some dance lessons…