First For Women
“‘Lilly Anne?’ I called out to my new friend from church as I cracked open her front door. She was in her 80s and she lived alone. Her old, run-down house had gotten a makeover as a gift from the congregation, and I was eager to see the fresh paint and new doors that were installed.
“With pride, Lilly Anne guided me from room to room, showing off the updated new look, but when we got to the kitchen, I saw that everything was renovated except for the tattered old doorway. The trim was marred, with notches cut out and markings on the wall. My heart sank, thinking the handyman hadn’t given her a new frame or painted around it. But when I asked, I saw a stubborn shine in Lilly Anne’s hazel eyes. It was then she pointed to each and every mark, nostalgia and happiness softening her tone.
“‘This doorway was where I measured my kids as they got taller,’ she explained. ‘Now I measure my great-grandkids. Each mark, each notch is precious—sometimes it’s the flaws that make something special.’
“I thought back to how quickly my own son had grown. How busy we were. How the years slid by too quickly. I wished
I had thought to mark his growth, the changes, to have something to touch and gaze at. I then ran my fingers along the old doorjamb, seeing the aged wood in a whole new light. I smiled, hugged Lilly Anne and replied, ‘It is truly beautiful.’”
—Becky Gaines, 57, Miami