December 1, 2012 11:12:17 PM
I love colored lights, and not only the newer variety, but also the old-fashioned kind with big bright bulbs on what seem like endless strands of enchantment. Green, blue and red, twinkling, flashing or burning steadfast through a winter's window or framing the mantle of a crackling fire, I love them in all their configurations.
Much like those colored lights from my childhood holidays, the women in my world shine brighter with each colorful memory, each in a special way. My mama, the first woman I ever fell in love with, is my brightest light. We danced to the sounds of my Disco Mickey Mouse album that I played for hours on my Mickey Mouse record player, finished each other's sentences, and bonded over our mutual obsession with makeup. The only thing that has evolved is our taste in music!
Then there was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McCormick, who was my second love. She coaxed a shy, blond-haired little guy out of his shyness and turned on the light inside me with nothing more than a smile and oatmeal cookies. Next, I would fall in love with all the girls along the way from elementary school right through high school. The cheerleaders lit up my Fridays, a few special teachers ignited my love of words and art, but it was my best friend Tracey Annette who helped me find my twinkle.
All of these women are as colorful as the crayons in a box or those dazzling colored lights that warmed my heart then and now. Later in life, I would meet many more women whose unique personalities enrich me with a glow that never stops shining. I am blessed to have a second mother, thanks to my Chris, who loves me through and through, illuminating every day of my life with her kindness, pure heart and love. If I had to pick a color on one of those strands of tangled lights, my own mama might be yellow or pink perhaps, but my Peggy would be the most radiant of blues, her favorite color and one of mine now because of my love for her.
Then there is Holly, my "LYLAS," which stands for "Love You Like a Sister." She always knows just when to send the encouraging message, and she is the only person I know who wraps prettier Christmas gifts than I do. She is too modest to wear the "Wonder Woman" cape that everyone knows she richly deserves.
Of course, among my favorite "lights" are those beautiful nieces I adore from ponytails to platinum highlights, Courtney, Shelby, Hannah, Emma and Arley. They all make my heart beat a little faster. Last, but not least, would be my four ladies who brighten my days and nights with an array of colors all their own. Naomi, Stella, Lillian and Sophia are my four-legged children that I adopted all those years ago, each with the power to bring a grown man to his knees with a simple pant or whimper.
Working in the beauty industry for 20 years has had many blessings, but the biggest one has been meeting hundreds of special women, many of whom have become dear friends. So, when you shake the dust off that box of old lights from the attic, trying to find where one end begins and the other ends, think of all the colorful women from your own life. Keep them close as you go forward, and they will be your best gift this holiday season and each season to come.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.