Photo by my awesome friend and fellow softball Mutha, Angela Gallman
September 27, 2019
Y’all this…she’s 21.
I. Can’t. Even. She had her fingernails painted almost right out of the womb (don’t lecture me about babies chewing on their fingers). Now she’s getting dirt under her nails while cleaning out the lemur exhibit at the NC Zoo. She’s living the dream, and I have a front row seat.
She’s not Talbots or Ann Taylor. She’s Uptown Cheapskate and Earthbound. She doesn’t own practical shoes, except what she needs for her fast-food job. She owns orange and clear hiking boots for her casual side, and then platform, blinged out high heels for her fancy days. She hasn’t grown since 6th grade, so she still has every stitch of clothing we’ve bought for her the last 9 years. But somehow her clothes aren’t dated and out of style because boho and vintage never go out of style when done right, and she does it right. She would have been swirling and twirling at Woodstock in her tie dye and leather and lace. It’s too bad for Grace that she missed it, but I for one enjoy the benefit of watching this old soul with an eye for the future.
But she’s not all fashion. She’s also glam. She’s an Ipsy shopper (Google it). Ulta. Sephora. Sally’s Beauty. Eye liner. Mascara. Hairspray. Mani-pedi. Blue eyes. Henna hair. Porcelain skin. My Gorgeous.
Blue eyes that have cried some tears. Henna hair on a head that used to be bald. Porcelain skin with scars and tats. She’s an old soul because she’s been through a lot. Grace is a master at hiding her feelings to the point that it nearly cost her her life. She crawled right up to Death’s doorstep but decided at the last minute that she’d rather be home with us. And she knows that not everybody makes it home, and she understands that one decision can change everything for everyone forever. She missed a good 4 years of her youth doing battle with demons. She lives with an army of protectors, this side of Heaven and beyond, surrounding her in prayer.
Then there are the critters. There are way too many of them downstairs in the Grace Cave. They are her passion, and it’s good to be one of Grace’s pets. She has a sweet set-up downstairs with their cages. I mentioned the other night that when Paul and I are old and need care, she’ll probably just put us in a box and poke air holes in the top. That offended her, and she retorted “I would never put my animals in a box!” Millie, the ball python, is her favorite. I won’t mention what Grace buys to feed Millie because sometimes the circle of life is disturbing. But the animals calm and steady Grace. It’s no surprise she wants to spend her life dedicated to taking care and advocating for them.
Grace has always been one of our greatest treasures. When I think about who Grace is, what she has faced and overcome, and how bright her future will be, I’m astounded that I am related to her. If that wonder and amazement ever wears thin, I’ll just look at her sisters to be reminded again how much God obviously loves me. I know me and I know Paul, and even with the best of me and the best of Paul, I still don’t know how God came up with My Gorgeous. To say I love her and that I’m proud of her doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel about her. I can’t wait to see how she rocks 21.