My Mother’s Smile

This is the first piece of writing I produced from my writing class. The task was to write about a person and try to capture their essence using descriptive language.

When I think about my mum, I think of her laughing. Eyes crinkled at the corners in mirth. Smile wide and bright. White teeth. She’s wearing her nurse’s uniform. Crisp, smart and a tight fit. The extra pounds she always she’d lose but never did showing. Her nurse’s hat nestled in her hair. A white crown in a soft black cloud. Her face is unlined as it is even now, though she is in her late seventies. Ever youthful, people say about her and now about me.

My mother’s skin is so soft, brown and smooth with a dash of caramel. But not her hands. If her face reveals her youth, her hands reveal her age, roughened by the live she’s lived. The years of hard work, nursing, bathing, and feeding the nation’s elderly as though they were her own parents, her own family. Now she is old who is there to nurse and take care of her? Who is there to thank her for her for her National Health Service.

But yet in my mother’s eyes there is no regret, no begrudging, only a keen sense of pride, that she did what no-one else in her family was able to, what no-one else really expected her to. Maybe that’s why in my mind’s eye she is always laughing, smiling, the smile, the laughter of one who has overcome, and one who beat the odds. That’s what I think about when I think of my mother.

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