I hardly recognized her.
Wearing pink lipstick, faintly rouged cheeks and the brush of a crusted old eye shadow she’d packed away 30 years ago after her husband died, she removed her new glasses and struck an atypical pose remarkably athletic for a woman her age.
“I’m baaack!” she said through a smile wide enough to be a laugh.
Since her early 50s, she’d never clearly seen herself in any mirror. What she could make out of the blurry image that peered back was less than half the cheery disposition she’d adopted overnight since they arrived.
To be specific, it was five business days. That’s how long it took to get her first vision exam in 30 years and the corrective lenses that notched her view of herself up about 10 points.
“I haven’t seen myself in 30 years, Don,” she blubbered through the tears that dampened the mascara and the artful thank you face she’d spent all morning to create for me.
His death back in 1985 had left her with a halved income and nothing extra for anything–including an exam or glasses–for at least three decades. Putting on makeup had become impossible and checking to see if she’d applied it in the right places was worse.
So long ago, she’d given up on making herself beautiful for a man or a mirror…and ultimately, herself.
Now she can see and read most anything, anywhere for the first time in years, including her own beautiful new self image, all because I work at a great place called HopeLink who saw her need and gave her hope and vision and a great view for the future.