I was sixteen years old and spending the afternoon at the mall with my parents and grandparents. I wasn’t one of those kids that was embarrassed to be the youngest in the group. (By thirty years!)
We window shopped, chatted, and I probably held hands at some point with each of my grandparents.
We ate lunch at my grandma and grandpa’s favorite place, Taco Time. We were relaxing on the benches next to the food court when my grandma decided to walk over to the bakery across the wide hall and get some cinnamon rolls.
She would have been in her late 70’s. I am sure she had on solid colored pleated polyester pants in a pretty pastel with a coordinating button up top with a catchy pattern, topped with a cardigan. I don’t remember every detail, but I know she had on a long necklace, probably beaded, and matching clip-on earrings, because she always did. Her hair and makeup would have looked perfect. She would have had on comfortable, if not bulky, walking shoes with crisp white anklet socks and a medium sized purse with short straps slung over one arm.
Grandpa put his arm around me and gazed ardently at grandma as she walked across the hall and stood in line.
“Isn’t she beautiful,” he whispered.
I don’t think he saw the pastel, the L’Oreal, or the Aqua Net covered curls. He didn’t notice if the purse was alligator skin or vinyl. The necklace was just one of many he had given her.
She turned to wave and gave us one of her magnetic smiles.
Yes. Yes. She was beautiful.