Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who is That in the Mirror

It is once again Theme Thursday.  This week's theme is Mirror.  The first thing that came to mind was Snow White and the Evil Queen.  I figured everyone would spin that golden thread so I present to you instead my look in the mirror.  Read my take on Mirror then go over to Theme Thursday and read the wonderful things cohorts have shared.

Gladys crawled out of bed and headed for the bathroom. It was quiet in the house as she slipped into the hall bathroom and started the shower. The room began to fog up as she slipped from her night clothes and into the pelting hot water.


She lathered and rinsed and lathered once again just as the directions said. She slathered the smoothing serum onto her hair knotted it up on top of her head and stood waiting for the water to either go cold or the sleep to wash down the drain. She exited the steamy cubicle and wrapped her hair in a towel.

She ran through the list of errands she had to run before work. She tried to remember if she had enough eggs to make breakfast and if not what she could substitute. She recalled the seminar she had just taken about letting things go. She took a deep breath exhaled and said to herself “today is a good day. Today is the first day of a new story, a new chapter in a new book and I can make it say whatever I want it to say because I am the author of my own story.” While drying off and putting the anti-cellulite anti-wrinkle cream on her thighs, yes your thighs can wrinkle, she thought of her mother.

Her mother, Nurse Meme, was the queen of bluntness. She was the purveyor of common sense and the voice of reason when Gladys was being unreasonable. A tear came to Gladys’ eye thinking that her mother had been gone for almost four years now. She missed her mother terribly. She missed her pithy sayings. She missed her no-nonesense advice. She tried to recall what her mother looked like and how she felt. Her memory was getting dimmer and dimmer and this made Gladys sad.

She thought about the lines in her mother’s face, many of which Gladys had put there. She thought about the hours her mother must have spent worrying over her and her bad choices. She thought about the frown lines of disappointment. She recalled the smile lines from laughing at Gladys’ antics. Yes, Gladys was responsible for those lines both bad and good. She loved that her mother had never had her face tucked or plumped. She loved that her mother had stood in the mirror morning after morning and evening after evening putting on cold cream and applying moisturizer, but never lamenting over her hard earned lines.

The fog began to clear and Gladys lifted the towel and wiped the condensation from the mirror. She froze mid-wipe. There in the mirror line for line, wrinkle for wrinkle was her mother’s face looking out. Gladys gasped and squinted looking hard into the mirror. Was it her mother’s ghost there to remind her of how beautiful she had been? Was it Gladys’ eyes playing a trick on her. No, the image was there staring back at her from the mirror. Hair wrapped in a towel squinting making sure that it was looking out at Gladys. Gladys’ image had indeed been replaced by that of her mother.

As tears fell freely from Gladys’ face she realized it was not her mother in the mirror but her own image. She realized those lines and wrinkles belonged to her and each one of them had been earned as she had given them to her mother.

11 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

There are some lovely lines and some lovely images in this post.

Brian Miller said...

love that ending...i probabaly gave my mother quite a few...

NellJean said...

... and then she opens her mouth and her mother's words come out, things Gladys swore never to say.

We all become our mother.

willow said...

Lovely post, Gladys. A delightful read!

RosieJo said...

Very comforting...

e said...

Beautiful, although I've not become my mother...

Ms Martyr said...

I love this post. I am becoming/looking more like my mother every day. Scary sometimes.

Magpie said...

So very true! Very nicely written. Thank you for sharing.

JeffScape said...

A tautology of wrinkles and worry-lines... very nice.

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

lovely post.
I am not close to my mother
but it is very comforting to read
your post.

Mine is here

http://justmeshakirack.blogspot.com/2010/02/mirrors-of-my-life-thursday-theme.html

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
and
GONG XI FA CAI!
(means WISHING YOU PROSPERITY! in Mandarin, Chinese)

hugs
shakira

Baino said...

Totally go with this. I never thought I looked like my mother. She had green eyes, mine are brown, but we have the same expression, the same lips the same hair . . I miss her . . .but I'm so proud that there's an inkling of her that remains in me. Lovely post hon.