Moments and Memories

Moments and Memories

I was walking down the restaurant’s narrow hallway toward the restrooms and was just about to enter the women’s facilities when the door swung open, startling me. Filling the open space was a woman who stood about my height, had perfectly coifed bottle-auburn hair and sparkling brown eyes. She was bedecked in head-to-toe matching green, khaki and gold from the floral print shirt to her gold penny loafers. Around her neck were layers of dazzling gold necklaces, some of which swung to her belly, heavy-laden with baubles and pendants and from her ears dangled matching gold earrings.

She was a radiant, stunning vision of precise perfection and I instantly saw my Grandma Faye.

Grandma Faye left this earth almost exactly seven years ago and every year around this time I feel the absence of her with such longing I practically ache with it. I miss the sound of her tick-tock heart and the smell of her – roses. I miss the touch of her tiny hands that were always adorned with beautiful jewels. I miss her laughter and I miss her gentleness.

I stared at this woman in front of me, awash in memories of my Grandma that came rushing at me with such force, I could hardly breathe. I gasped with the sudden onslaught of emotions and the woman looked at me harshly, appearing as startled by my presence as I was by hers. I could feel the tears burning in my eyes and swallowed hard around the huge lump in my throat. She smiled warily.

We were only about six inches from one another and I looked her straight in the eye after taking in her appearance in one sweeping glance. Blinking away the tears in my eyes, I swallowed and said, in a voice that sounded strangely airy, “Oh. Hi. You… uh… startled me. I’m sorry. You just… you just remind me so much of my Grandma that I almost hugged you.”

“Poor Grandma,” she said as she inched around me, back pressed to the wall, eyes wide.

She dashed off down the hall and, startled by her response, I stepped into the bathroom, shaking off the curious sensation of, “what in the world just happened there???”

I’ve thought about this experience a lot since it happened several weeks ago. I’ve wondered what on earth she meant by her odd comeback. I’ve wondered what she heard me say. I’ve wondered at my sudden urge to say to her, “Thank you for reminding me of love,” but holding back and not saying it. I’ve wondered what would have happened if I had told her that.

What I’ve thought about the most, though, is that very visceral experience of my Grandma Faye that was embodied in this stranger. In that brief interlude, she brought to me the body-memory of what it was like to be around a woman whom I’ve been missing deeply as of late.

I know there are people out there who have caught my eye and with whom I’ve shared moments of divine beauty because I honored the love that enveloped me in that moment. I’ve seen people’s faces change when I’ve stepped up and have said, “I want to tell you how beautiful you are,” or “I loved hearing your laughter,” or “Thank you for your kindness. It meant everything to me today.”

At times, people – sometimes complete strangers – have said impulsive things to me like, “You have a beautiful smile,” or “What you just said changed my life forever.” When this has happened, I’ve had a moment to pause and realize that all around me are opportunities to connect and to share a beautiful experience. When someone has taken the time to follow their impulses and share with me some kind word or loving feedback, I’ve been so touched and transformed.

There are times in our lives where people cross our paths and it is our chance to share with them the loving feelings that arose merely from crossing paths with them. It is in the awareness of the beautiful coincidences of crossing paths that the revolutionary moments can happen. Even when I don’t realize it’s happening, in any moment, I could be changing someone’s life for the better by simply being me.

What are you doing with your moments?

© Angie K. Millgate 3/13/10


Bedazzled by Angie K. Millgate
© Angie K. Millgate 2010 All rights reserved.
To view a full-size version of this piece of art, visit

2 responses

  1. Jen

    I love what you said at the end, “Even when I don’t realize it’s happening, in any moment, I could be changing someone’s life for the better by simply being me.”

    You’ve changed my life by simply being you.

    There’s not much in my patriarchal blessing that I value, but there was one paragraph. It talked about experiencing sadness, and it promised I will overcome. It also says that I will touch people’s lives and never know it.

    I have chosen to live and do my best to make that paragraph a prophecy. I believe I can touch people the best by just being me. Thank you for the reminder.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    • Jen,

      I am so touched by your response and I’m so grateful that our life paths have crossed so I have the honor of getting to know you and sharing this journey together.

      I am grateful you are willing to be open, honest and ALIVE!

      Thank you for sharing your kind words with me.

      With love,

      January 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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