I couldn’t breathe. I took the glasses off. My wife looked at me with a glance that was more than askew.
“What did you see? You’re crying!”
She reached out with her hand, a hand that a moment ago was soft, young, all peaches and cream. Now, without the glasses on…her hand was as I knew it to be. The patina of age, of being a Mother for more than forty eight years, a wife for fifty two, and a daughter for seventy one years, showed on every finger, every joint, and every aged liver spot on the back of her hand. Yet a moment ago…it was soft, pliable, untouched by time, tragedy, or triumph.
I had seen her soul, unblemished by the marks of mortality.
I put the glasses back on.
I took them back off. I placed them on the counter top where the clerk let them lay. He smiled at me. A knowing smile. A caring smile. A smile that said in no uncertain terms: “I told you so.”
My wife reached a crinkled hand to each side of my face. I had no idea that the tears were still streaming down my face, unabated by any inhibition. I couldn’t contain the joy those glasses brought me, my tears helped the overflow of emotion.
“Kevin! What is going on? The way you looked at me when you put those glasses on…”
I knew she was struggling for words. I was too. How do you describe to your wife that you saw her soul? Her kindness flowed out in rainbow ribbons of gentle washing colors. Her innocence was blinding in its simplicity. The love she had for me our three children- and five grandchildren- was woven so deep into her soul that it was part of who she was.
I took the glasses back off of the counter. Without a word I handed them to her. She took them in those competent hands of hers…slowly raising them to put them on her face. Once they were on her face…she looked at me. I saw the rush of feelings overpower her understanding…as it had done to me just a few moments earlier. The look she gave me melted away every ill word I had ever said. I knew she was seeing my soul... as I had hers.
Like me, she took the glasses off before she could be completely overwhelmed. Like me, tears were rolling down her face in a torrent of release. Something to big for the Human mind and heart forced tears to beg release. Like me…she spoke as she set the glasses down. I heard her words clearly: