In the Looking Glass

I looked in the mirror the other day, and my mother looked back. As I have gotten older, I have begun to take after my mother more and more. As a child, I favored my dad. Or, at least, I thought I did. I had his brown eyes-not my mother’s blue ones. But as I’ve entered into what some would call my senior years, I remind myself of my mother as she looked in her later years. Something about my mouth, my gaze.

I always thought my mother was a pretty lady. And so you’d think that looking like her would be good news. It is. I guess. I should be happy about it. It makes sense. I look like my mother.

But I’m just vain enough that I don’t want to look like my mother. I want to look like me. What does that even mean? I don’t know. I guess it means that I thought I was unique. And looking so much like my mother erodes that notion.

I look at pictures of me in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, and I see no resemblance. I am just me. But now, in my 60’s, the DNA that mom passed along is showing up on my face. I know that looking like my mother doesn’t preclude me from being unique. It doesn’t cancel out my me-ness. And, anyway, I know that who and what I am is partly-largely-because of the mother I had. So maybe she should be allowed a curtain call by showing up on my face.

I guess I’m just a little surprised that even though I feel so thoroughly me, if I were to meet me on the street, I just might mistake me for my mother.

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About Paula J Wray

I am a writer and I live in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Colorado with my husband and a balding black cat. I write humor, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, inspirational essays, and poetry. When I'm not writing, making lists, or forcing a family member to listen to something I've written, I'm reading, gardening, or laughing with my friends. I also, occasionally, sit and stare.
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2 Responses to In the Looking Glass

  1. …and what would be wrong with that? Be proud that you are 50% her and you are a walking, talking reminder of her life. As a 55 year old, “adoptee”, I have no idea who I resemble at this stage of my life, but look to our three daughters and see bits of me in them. All part of that thing we call the “Circle of life” Great story….RJV

  2. jannatwrites says:

    It is strange how our features change like that as we age. I noticed it a lot with my mom and my aunt in resemblances to my grandma. Her smile is something I see in them, and in me as well.

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