Memories in A Mirror

I placed my eyeglasses on the side of the sink and started my morning routine with a splash of warm water on my face. As I lifted my head I saw the reflection of my mother through the fogged glass of my son’s bathroom mirror.

I arrived in New York City five days ago to visit him and my soon-to-be daughter-in-law and now I’m sitting with my toast and orange juice at their kitchen table; they’re both still asleep.  I must admit, it feels a little scary, for this was my mother’s routine after she moved in with us. Mom had five years of mornings like this and I suddenly can see the view from her lens.

How lonely she must have been to leave her home, life and friends!

Mom was very comfortable, as am I.  The kids allow me the freedom to make myself at home every time I visit.  I actually am typing this on my son’s laptop and I turned it on, knowing it would not be an issue.  As I sit listening to the hum of the refrigerator I am grateful to be loved. But the reality is I’m not home, and now I can feel how my Mom felt watching me live my life.

I would come into the kitchen every day, and Mom tried to cheerily say good morning, but her face told another story and it frustrated me. We took her out on errands with us or to dinner, and she could do anything she  and see my Mother who tried to cheerily say Good Morning but her face told another story and it frustrated me.  We would take her out on errands with us, take her to dinner, allow her to do anything she pleased in the home, and she was genuinely grateful. But she was sad.

I often look at my wedding album and think my mom looked much older in her mother-of-the-bride dress than I will in my mother-of-the-groom outfit. I thought I was more modern—until, that is, I saw a glimpse of her story in the mirror. As I breakfast at my son’s kitchen table, I wonder if history will repeat itself.

I often wonder whether I should have thought about assisted living for my mother. My heart told me I wanted to be the one to care for her, but maybe she would have been happier in a different setting. I know friendships are key to living a happy life. Would she have ended her last chapter more happily if she had been near her friends?

There’s no point in looking through the rearview mirror at the decisions that were made or the chapter of life that’s over. I have no control over whether history will repeat itself as my story continues.   I do know for sure that Mom cherished the love around as her story was ending and that gives me peace. And I do know that the people around me cherish me, too. No wonder I’m smiling as the day is beginning.

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