Moments with Mama…Linda and the Lipstick

Last night, Mama and I made our usual route around the big metropolis of Mebane.  Oh, occasionally, we’ll head to the big city of Burlington (have to pack a lunch:) and get a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or a Zack’s Hotdog, one of her favorites, but usually, it’s just around Mebane.  We ride “out to the Walmart”, maybe check out a little Dollar General, we check out people’s yards, maybe wash the car, you just never know when we might show up at your door (or judge your landscaping).

One of the things I always remember about my Mama is her lipstick. She never went anywhere without her lipstick.  Growing up, I was not a big makeup wearer and I can still hear her saying, “At least put on a little lipstick” as if to say “My gosh, you look like the walking dead” which I often did but it would just go in one ear and out the other along with most of my education.  But the other thing about the lipstick is we’d find her lip blotting imprints everywhere, those little lipstick kisses, on church bulletins, receipts, napkins, you name it.  You could always tell where Mama had been.

When Mama started with this disease or when it started taking her over, we went through a phase much like the pocketbook where she had to have her lipstick.  We’d buy tubes at a times and they would disappear constantly, we never knew what she was doing with them.  One day we’re probably going to find a nest of lipsticks and pocketbooks, shoes and sweaters and jewelry, all of which have gone missing.  But with the lipstick, she’d have to put it on and eventually it didn’t matter if it was straight or not, she just had to have it.  Then the stage changed to where she’d ask if she had any on and we started saying yes, you look beautiful, and that was all she needed. She didn’t even check to see if she had it on or not.  Finally, the lipstick went away and hasn’t been mentioned for probably years … until last night.

In my car, I had a new tube of lipstick I’d just bought (my discontinued Maybelline 365 Sugared Honey that I had to hunt for I might add and I’d bought three tubes when I finally found it) but I had put it in my console of the car.  Well, she saw that lipstick and that was all she wrote.  While we were sitting in a drive through, I look over and she’s going to town on MY Maybelline 365 Sugared Honey, putting it on quite well I’ll have you know, and  I laughed and she laughed.  Well, she put that darn lipstick on 7 times before we got home and I saw her reach down into a pocket of my car and lo and behold, she found an old receipt and had to blot (no comments on the content of that purchase – it was all Dave, except the V8, the V8 was mine).

I guess some things, silly or small or seemingly insignificant, are ingrained in there forever.  I’m going to miss Mama’s lipstick… I might hang on to this tube and that little receipt for a while:)

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2 Responses to Moments with Mama…Linda and the Lipstick

  1. Peggy Stallings says:

    God bless you Tracey & your beautiful Mom..and bless the lipstick that brought her laughter and feel good moments..thank you for sharing so much of this personal journey..love & prayers

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  2. Cindi Wolfe says:

    Well Tracey, I got a good cry over this. I admire the love that you and your mom still share. I lost my best friend, my mom, two months ago. Her mind was clear as a bell. Not a day went by without her Revlon lipstick being on. She went through lip liners almost weekly. When she had a stroke, she kept reaching for her purse but couldn’t talk or use her right arm/hand. When I figured what she wanted, I gave her mine. She struggled to make it to her mouth. It was all over her teeth. She recovered from her stroke. A year later, Warfarin literally killed her and we had no idea what was going on. She kept refusing to go to the hospital. Finally, before she became so sick, she reached for a Walmart bag and put a tube of lipstick and a lip liner in it. She never came back home but went on to a much better place. Her lipstick is now with me. I put it on and wish with all of my heart that my mom was with me, forever sending me to look for her color, which was discontinued…I would get so frustrated with her at times because she HAD to have that color…if I could bring her back, I’d go to the end of the earth to find the shade she wanted. Hold on to those little strips of paper with her lip prints on them. One day, you will kiss that receipt and I can promise you, tear will flow.
    God bless you Tracey as you walk this road with your mom. You’ll never regret the moments you spend with her.

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