Skip to main content

Put Some Lipstick On




Put Some Lipstick On

It was a time in the 1960’s when I was growing up. As I was taught,  that you didn’t demonstrate to the outside world how you really felt. You didn’t speak of illness, neither yours or either someone else’s. Nor were women’s health issues discussed, as well.  I’ll call it, “The Dark Ages of Life’s Unpleasantries”.

As I grew up, I noticed no matter what, my mother always put on lipstick. She made certain her teeth were clean. Her hair was either brushed out nice or in a decorative kerchief. Her favorite was this lavender kerchief.  I actually dreamt about her wearing that lavender kerchief in some of my dreams as a child.

By the time I was age six, my mother had started working part-time at our local drugstore. The owner, Sam loved her creativity. She did the Hallmark card merchandising. She was a cashier in between merchandising, as well she was a cosmetician.  That is, what she truly enjoyed being and doing. I believe even to this day, she could fix anybody’s face. She knew her makeup.

I remember when she started to try teaching me about colors matching each person’s look. Looks of not just skin tones. Yet, also of the time of day and if the person were ill.  Years later, when her illnesses were taking hold. She remarked, “Remember, when you don’t feel good. Put some lipstick on. Smile till it hurts. Keep them guessing.”

One day in 1987 at my Mom’s house. I’d been married at this point over three years. She inquired about how I felt about missing the 1988 Olympic Trials Marathon time trials standard. I shrugged. Although that was painful. As well, I felt like a failure. I was quite angry that she’d posed such a query to me. Yet, I acted like nothing meant anything. She commented, “Looks like you keep everyone guessing.” She winked. I shrugged again.

Over the years before and after her death, I’ve had a number of people comment as my Mom did that day in 1987. Their responses were as they found out what tragedies had befallen me, “I would have never guessed that… You smile all the time.” I had one man say to me, “Even though you are deeply injured, struggling and I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through… You give the best speeches at the worst times in your, life.” He smiled and shook his head. He reflected the smile I held on my face.

I had a friend who’d become a Baptist Minister, after I’d left defense contracting and changed careers. We left the company, nearly the same year to pursue other avenues, making a living. She’s a brilliant woman who’s had her tragedies in life. This woman with a double master’s had known me during much of my tragedies in my earlier adult life. Knowing her background, I waited till lunch to ask her about God and doubt. She remarked that day in the office we worked together in, “You seem to laugh no matter what. When I hear you laugh. I know it’s time to laugh. Your laugh makes me laugh. And everyone has doubt, even Christ did…Remember that Jody.”.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Reicher's Official Holiday Letter

  “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ---Ralph Waldo Emerson There are many ways to shed light on seemingly impossible situations or what we would consider obstacles to our daily living. It is not always in our daily intake and output that is the measurement of a human being. It is the grind. Some people struggle with miniscule grinds; while others have bus loads to grind through. Some don’t make it. Few do. Making it, is not, not dying. It’s progressing through even when there appears no light at the end of the tunnel. That there may not even be a twinkle of a star in the nights ahead. And the human that faces that, knowing full well that they can’t change the ending to their earthly story. Yet, they consciously go through the process, has made it. They’ve lived. No matter their age, I believe that, to be one of Life’s truths. As this year has progressed, the pandemic actually blessed us. Yep. Many would not agree with that. But then, they weren’t us. They weren’t our

To Laconia and Canada Too

 He began, "So, I got this deal..."  Me, "Yeah?" Norman,  "I went up on 23, and saw her. " Me, "Where did you go?" Norman, "Sport Spot on 23 South.  And there she was." Me, "Uh oh."😊 Norman,  "I'm graduating to a BMW.  She was sitting there. 1986, an R80RT. A touring sportster... " Me, "What about the Yamaha, Norm?" Norman, "I'll get a buyer before I have to pick up the R80RT." It was 1987, we'd just had a semi long motorcycle ride up North together for a week. New England that'd be.  Norman was all enthralled about the open road. Married just over three years at the time, and he rediscovered a new love.  Me wary, yet curious.  'Maybe she'll ride easier.  Less bumpy on certain roadways of upstate New York'. Norman even had me considering getting a motorcycle license.  I'd driven nearly every style, engine from small military jeep to tractor trailers...

Completion of Humanness

Completion of Humanness As we arrive to the completion of the first year without Norman, I had decided long before he'd passed that I would continue to do things certain things he liked yet could no longer do. I decided I would not take a day off of fitness.  I would run at least for 500 days in a row. I began that in early 2020.  I'd not be concerned with the distance I'd run. It was the very thing I convinced Norman and the thing that mattered to him, from the very first discussion we had August 11th, 1981, was fitness. I loved that he was a College Boy. He loved that I was a Marine. We tickled each other's soul with such admirations. Later fitness continued as an old discussion from 1994 ...getting outside and to run no matter what. I would say to him, "Run 200 meters, then 400 meters. If it doesn't feel good, stop. Turn around and walk back home and know you did your best. That is all you can ask of yourself." I said this,  knowing he would get dow