Thu, May 24, 2018

Looking in the Mirror

When you watch TV, you know that some of the scenes and storylines are unrealistic and make-believe, unless you are like me and come to realize anything is possible. I can tell you story after story, but this time I’ll focus on a story that made me a believer. Growing up my family told me I looked like my dad’s mom from head to toe. I was told I walked like her, looked like her, and acted like her. I barely remember her, she died when I was only five. As the years past and I got older, I heard the same thing at family reunions how much I looked like my grandmother. Of course, my dad was pleased that I looked like her since he was close to his mother.

My mom was a beautiful woman with great hair, no winkle complexion, and always smiling. Time after time I wished I looked like her. As mom got up in her later years she still was beautiful, she carried her age wonderfully. Many times I would tell my mom I wish I could look like her and look that young when I got to be her age, which was in her 70. Mom and I was close, especially in her later years and still almost every day I’d tell her how beautiful she was and how I wished I looked like her. Mom would smile at me and tell me I was beautiful the way I was, but I still wished I could have her grace and beauty in my later years. Towards moms last days, mom would smile, and I’d ask what she was smiling at, and she’d say the beautiful daughter I had become.

I never thought myself anywhere close to being beautiful, normal and a bit on the downside if anything. I noticed myself in the mirror as I walked by, for a split-second I thought, maybe I do look a tiny bit like mom. Mom passed away and my heart was broken. She took a piece of my heart with her and the void was there no matter how hard I’d tried to fill it. About a year after she was gone I walked by the mirror and there was no doubt this time, I saw my mom in my face. I couldn’t point my finger to it, but there was something that reminded me of her. I started to get comments from everyone how much I looked like my mom.

I was pleased, because I always wanted to look like her. Mom had been gone for about five years and I was finally able to go through her personal items. I had tried to do it before, but the pain was too close to the surface to let me. I found a small wooden box hidden away in a trunk that I had never seen before. Curiously I opened it to find pictures of my mom, I thought. I went through the pictures and that is when I noticed the difference in the clothing. There were six pictures and when I looked at the names on the back of them they were all different, but other than the clothes they all looked identical. My moms picture was also in the group.

I remember her having it taken a few years before she died. When I laid all of them in a row I was shocked, they all were Identical! I noticed a letter and opened it and noticed my moms handwriting. The letter read; “Dearest daughter, if you are reading this letter it means that I am no longer with you physically. You are probably puzzled at the pictures that all look like me and now you. For generations our family have been blessed with the beauty of age. We are not allowed to speak of it until we have passed on, even if we did would you believe it? This letter is left behind for you to read and to pass it on to your daughter that you are sure to have in about 8-months. Don’t look surprise that I know that I’m having a granddaughter in this letter, it’s the gift we have. Please pass these pictures on to your daughter as I have you. I’ll always be with you in spirit and heart.

I love you and will see you one day. Love you mom!” I was 35-years old and my husband and I had come to terms that we probably wouldn’t have any children of our own. The letter was disturbing, because it was like shoving a knife in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to have a daughter to keep the pictures going. Eight months after reading the letter and seeing the pictures I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at the age of 36, same as my mom and all our ancestors before us. I am now 65 and writing my daughter a letter with a picture of myself that looks just like my mom. My daughter has said many times said she wish she could look like me, I smile and know that one day she will. Some would call it a curse, I call it great! When I look in the mirror, I smile back at my mom.