Being Beautiful: Musings on bridges built with love by women forged of steel

My mind is saturated with unforgettable mothers, I suppose because Mother’s Day marks our calendars once again.

Of course, I replay countless memories of my own mother, but how about taking a walk down memory lane paying homage to some of the lasting “mother moments” from music and cinema? Who could ever forget the stellar performance Sally Field gave as M’Lynn, one of our favorite Steel Magnolias as mother-of-the-bride in Truvy’s beauty parlor carrying on with her Shelby over the choice of wedding colors—Blush and Bashful. “Her colors are pink and pink”, M’Lynn quipped, adding, “That sanctuary looks like it’s been hosed down with Pepto-Bismol.”

We will never forget the classic scene no mother ever wants to find herself living through when M’Lynn rips our hearts out: “I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby’s hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh, God. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.”

How many of us are remembering our own similar story of love and loss today, or just on an average Tuesday?

Music gave us the powerful duo, The Judds, with red hair, cowboy boots, and a larger-than-life mother who toured the world with her girl, Wynonna. I shut my eyes and sing the lyrics with just as much joy as the day I first heard the song on the radio: “Love can build a bridge, between your heart and mine. Love can build a bridge, don’t you think it’s time? Don’t you think it’s time?” It was a favorite of Mama’s and mine as we rode through life together. It fills my heart with love now as then.

I think of all the mothers in the world today, those who blanket their children with all they have, refugees from war-torn lands with only their bodies to shield their babes from bullets, grenades, bombs, and other dangers. I think of the mother who clings tightly to hope when doctors come and go from an infant’s bedside and the mother whose heart breaks for the child she no longer touches.

I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day, and I leave you with one more memory I have of a mother’s love and her lasting imprint on a son’s heart. The last conversation I ever had with my own sweet mama, my Steel Magnolia, was when she stared into my eyes a few years back and, with tears in hers, whispered, “Don’t ever forget me.”

As if I ever could.

Contact David at [email protected].