My grandmother was a great beauty. Everybody said so.
“Like a black Elizabeth Taylor,” was the comment heard most often, because her eyes looked violet in some light. She had a perfect hourglass figure, large clear eyes, a tiny waist, long slim hands, a killer sense of dress and smooth dark skin.
The only trait I shared with her was her skin color. My mother always spoke of this with pride. It was a treasure to be kept whole through diligent care – applications of thick, pasty Eucerin lotion, which used to come in a tub, worked into the skin as it melted down and made everything smooth and shiny. My grandmother used the silkier Nivea instead – kept on the dresser in her all-white bedroom, applied throughout the day. The smell of it still reminds me of the elegance of her life.