Monday, December 9, 2013

The Turbulent Eyebrow

My Life with Nana #1  The Turbulent Eyebrow

My mom is the sweetest lady ever.  She is kind and honest and has lived through some of the most unbelievably painful things.  This woman has been through it all, from homelessness to years of abuse,  she's been sober over 30 years and quit smoking after 60 years and 2 heart attacks.  She's a fighter.  She's been down as far as one can go, but she's never lost her sense of humor.  For some reason, my mom continually experiences the weirdest things, humiliating things that she turns around into the greatest memories.  I have more stories about my mom's crazy jackpots than I can count. 

Over the last two months, my mom has become seriously ill and the road has been intensely exhausting and difficult.  It seems that now is the best time to share some of the lighter side, and immortalize her unique spirit in the best way I know how; by writing and sharing it.

So, this is: 

The Turbulent Eyebrow

My mom used to shave off her eyebrows and draw them back on with an eyebrow pencil.  She also wore the brightest color red lipstick and teased her hair into a giant cotton candy ball on her head.  I don't know why, she had mirrors, but she did that since I can remember.  In her 30's and 40's she did that.  I finally talked her out of it in her 70's but it was a long, tiring road to get her to see the insanity of it.  Drawn on eyebrows do not work, especially when you have shaky hands and failing eye sight.

Years ago, in her 60's, she came to visit.  We waited in the airport excited to see her.  Finally, after everyone else descended, she came walking through her gate...looking completely insane.  Every person within a radius of her stared, mouths hanging open.  She was oblivious; she was just so happy to see us waiting there.

My husband threw his hands in the air, huffed and walked away.  He believed he was looking at my future and got scared, I think.  My mom took in my astonished face and the snort I couldn't hold back and very seriously said, "What?  Do I look crazy?"  

"Um....what happened?" I replied as delicately as possible.

She laughed. "You're not going to believe it."  -The best stories in her world, start with that line- "My eyes got teary, so I wiped them but we hit turbulence and I smeared my eyebrow!"  She tsked.  "I ran to the bathroom and tried to do the best I could to draw it back on but we kept hitting turbulence!...Does it look too bad?"  

My husband was at least 10 yards ahead of us at that point, still shaking his head.

My son looked up at her then and said, "Nana?  Who drew on your face?"   

My mom fumbled a mirror out of her purse and shrieked.

I'm not that bad of an artist...this is what she looked like.  For real.

Once my mom saw herself, gasped and held her heart for a moment, she burst out laughing. Then she narrowed her eyes on my husbands fading back, smiled a wicked, lipstick-stained smile and ran after him, yelling through the airport, "Jay...OH, Jay, I love you!  Where's my hug, Jay?"  The shock on his face as she ran after him through baggage claim is one of my favorite Nana memories.  (He still wakes up screaming at night)  :D   

True Story.



  1. Lovely memories,cherish them! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Peg. Absolutely. She's hilarious....that's how I want to remember her. ;)