Note: This article,titled "Mirror", along with the photo of the article page (noted at the bottom of this article) appeared in Reminisce Magazine,under "Reflections on a Life" in March 2009. http://www.reminisce.com/Default.asp?r_d=y
I remember it as if it were yesterday. We waited all morning for the delivery truck, which finally came about 3 in the afternoon.
I stood near Mama and watched as the two men unloaded the dresser. They had other deliveries in the neighborhood that day, but no one could have been happier than Mama and I were.
"Where do you want it?" the men asked. Mama told them to take the dresser to the front bedroom, and I ran ahead to show them just where to put it.
When the dresser was in place, I remember how happy we were. The legs were curved, and on each drawer were carvings and a pretty metal pull. There was also a matching, velvet-covered stool. "Oh," Mama said, "this mirror is so clear. Look at the pretty curved, wooden frame and how lovely it is, attached to the back of the dresser." I thought it was the most beautiful dresser I had ever seen.
Years later, when I was in high School, Mama said to me one day, "I want you to have the dresser in your bedroom now. Young girls sit in front of a mirror more often than an older woman does." I was thrilled - my own dresser and mirror! Now I could dance in front of it, when no one was around to see me. I could sit in front of it and work with my hair or just make funny faces. If I were sad or worried, I could talk to my mirror. If I saw frowns or wrinkles, I would just make up my mind to smile and laugh, and they would go away.
After the birth of our daughter, I remember walking into the bedroom with her in my arms, standing in front of the mirror and saying, "Look, this is a special mirror that has seen me for many years and now sees you for the first time." She cooed and smiled, and I felt she understood every word.
Through 80-plus years, I've sat in front of the mirror when I was sad or happy, ill or grateful. The mirror has seen all those times of my life and, by looking back at me, has brought comfort. Today, as I look in the mirror, I know there are many wrinkles and my hair has turned gray. The mirror, too, shows its age with cracks in the silver under the glass, dark spots showing its years.
I could have the mirror re-silvered, just as I could have my wrinkles removed with surgery. But I won't. Just as I accept my face as it is, so do I accept the mirror's condition. Like old friends, we need each other. I caress the mirror and say, "Thank you. You and I have grown old together. Each day, you have shown me how I look on the outside.
"You can't show how I look on the inside of my heart and soul. But there are memories in there that only you will remember."