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Mirror Magic

Story ID:4840
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Year:2008
Person:Nancy Kopp
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Mirror Magic

Mirror Magic

Mirror Magic

I step out of the shower, towel dry, and slip into my undies. Itís then I realize that
something strange has been happening in our house lately. Whenever I look in the mirror, someone else looks back. I peer closely, shake my head. No, it canít be. The person in the mirror is my mother, not me. How can that be? She has been gone for nearly four years,
but there she is. If I wave my hand, she waves right back. If I smile, so does she. And when I frown, Mom scrunches up her face, too.

Face it, I tell myself. Itís you in that mirror. Itís not the person you think you are. Ah no, for you think of yourself as that redhead who flew across the college campus to classes and back to the dorm for meals, studying, and playing as much bridge as you could fit in. You were the girl who left Chicago and went to college in a downstate teacher education university, the girl who thrilled to be independent after living with a strict father who curtailed everything you thought to be fun. You think of yourself as that young woman who fell in love half a dozen times in the four years of study time.

I apply some moisturizer and lean closer to the mirror. The woman with the circles under her eyes, the white hair and wrinkled neck is me. Dear Lord, when did it happen? When did I begin to look like my mother? I was minding my own business, going about my busy life, when Mom slipped in and waved a magic wand. ďZap! Youíre me.Ē And without so much as an Ali Kazam, the deed was done.

Next, I put on make-up. Not too much, just enough to enhance what God already bestowed upon me. That will help, I tell myself. I will be back in the mirror, not Mom.
First a little foundation, then eyebrow pencil to help where my eyebrows have vanished, a bit of mascara, a light dusting of powder and blush and finish with a lipstick. Look in the mirror again. Sheís still thereómy mother. She looks better, I think, but itís her, not me.

Where is the bride who walked down the aisle in a wedding gown and bridal veil flowing from the Jackie Kennedy pillbox circlet atop my head? Where is the young mother who gave birth to four babies in five years, buried two and raised the others to adulthood? Where is the thirty-something woman who attended dinners and conventions with her husband to help his career? Where is the mother of teens who fretted and fumed over many a late night, auto accident, and prom? Sheís no longer in that mirror. All I see is the woman who raised me long ago.

Itís not such a bad thing, I think. My mother was a pretty neat lady, right up to the day she died. She passed on more to me than a physical resemblance. I have her sense of humor, her love of reading, her baking ability, and her positive outlook on life. I straighten up, stand tall, and stare back at Mom in the mirror. We smile at each other. We share a secret. We both know that my daughter is going to look in her mirror one day and see me. I wonít tell her now. Let it be a surprise.

Photo 1: My Mom--Garnet Julien

Photo 2: Nancy, daughter Karen, and granddaughter, Jordan

Click on photos to enlarge