As I stood there, second guessing the outfit I had firsthandedly selected from the mannequin on display, I felt the warm touch of an old soul cling to my bare forearm. I could literally count the well-defined wrinkles on her right hand; like the rings of a rotting fallen oak tree. She further approached me, in a near “too close for comfort” sort of manner, and murmured softly to me (while peeking in the opposite direction): “I’m sorry ma’am for all of these tears, but my husband has mostly been having bad days lately and today is a wonderdul day because he feels handsome”.
Unsure of what had just happened, my eyes left the elongated mirror and turned the other way; to where she was looking. A very old man stood proud, with a bright blue regular tee on, as he smiled cheerfully at the glass reflecting his posture. His level of content was possibly comparable to that of a two-year-old boy, riding in a coin-operated car, right down to the very last penny, in the middle of the shopping centre.
As he scurried away to remove the happiness from his chest, the old woman turned to me, once more, and added: “with his advanced memory loss and state of delirium we rarely ever get a smile out of him”. As the lump crept up in my throat and tears began overflowing in my eyes, she thanked heaven for the perfect blue tee and said: “today is a good day”. Little did she know, I cried my pretty little blue eyes out the instant they exited the store.
I will always hang on to this event; which I am so grateful for. I think back to this old fella often, and, without knowing it, his happiness that day has since inspired me a great deal.
When life seems to be falling apart, I close my eyes and remember his impactful smile in the mirror. If a simple blue tee can miraculously make an old hopeless couple forget overwhelming worries, for a few split seconds, then a smile can fix or help me focus on what truly matters. Unfortunately, not all days are guaranteed to be good. When they are, embrace them!