Look away…

It’s a standard warning on car mirrors: “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear”. Mirrors don’t always give a truly honest reflection. Sometimes, the mirror is warped; sometimes, it’s only our perceptions. When Alice went into her mirror, it was the world itself that was distorted. And yet at times, the mirror will show you true things that you weren’t aware of; something around a corner, or behind you, or on another spectral plane. People can even act as mirrors; they can show you yourself as others see you.

old woman - mirror


She constantly refused to look into a mirror, any mirror.

My mother.

It wasn’t because of vanity or due to failing eyesight.

She could see clearly, without eyeglasses, towards the end of her life.

It didn’t matter.

The reflection staring back was unrecognizable

To her.

That person, that old woman with gray hair and wrinkled skin was someone else.  “A witch” she often said as she quickly looked away from what she had determined was some creature hiding in the glass.  She would cover her face with both hands.   It wasn’t her, not by any means; she was young, in her twenties, still with dark hair and red lipstick.

In her mind.

Mother lived in long ago realities; the aging process stopped and did a U-turn back about fifty or more years once Alzheimer’s took control.   In some ways, I was envious.  She didn’t have to deal with life’s sorrows and responsibilities but that was nothing new.   For as long as I could painfully remember she always managed to look away from bothersome issues, seeing only what she wanted.  Comfortable, happy reflections.

I was never her mirror of choice.



workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Workshop…Writing Prompts for 4/4/19…Write a blog post inspired by the word: mirror.



  1. Kat Bouska says:

    That would be a scary feeling to look into a mirror only find the witch version of yourself staring back. Alzheimer’s is terrifying to me.

    • Patty says:

      It is terrifying, Kat. Most of my mother\’s combativeness was ignited when she looked into a mirror. I had to hide a mirrored compact that she kept in her purse to thwart her outbursts. As a caregiver, I kept reaching for some hint of recognition from her but it was useless. My daily ritual was always…distract and look away.

  2. Janet Rella says:


    You will most certainly will be the mirror of choice for your daughters.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Janet. Mothers and daughters definitely have their moments, I hope my two look back and remember the positive ones!

  3. That is very well written. Poignant. My mom remembers who she is, but she can’t see herself in the mirror but vaguely now. Seeing a parent age isn’t easy.

    • Patty says:

      Thank you so much!

      My mother remembered herself, much younger, but little else. Especially me. Something I learned to live with long before A/D took control of her mind.

      The aging person I watched was a familiar face, sometimes polite, mostly combative, always distant.

      Definitely not easy.

  4. Casey says:

    This is a good way to articulate something really deep.

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