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.

thumbnailCAJIVYUL

 

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

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Hope…like a Butterfly

Hope departed when she died.  I often talk about it being the second time she left me…without saying good-bye.

Throughout her illness, I held out the hope that she might remember.  She rarely did.  Like a butterfly struggling to break free from its cocoon, her memories darted in and out of the sunlight, fought against the darkness of every night, and me.

Still, there was always that chance she might turn her head and recognize that I was part of her life.  Or had been, once.

It was overwhelming, at times a helpless feeling, as I stood  in the shadows of that familiar stranger wanting to become the missing piece of her puzzle of forgetfulness.  A puzzle left scattered, never to be completed.

Hope, for me, departed on June 29th, 2006, on the wings of a butterfly who never looked back, taking with it many desires and needs and dreams.  While hope can carry on its back an entire soul, lifting up sorrow and bringing back joy, it also takes many forms, depending on your perspective; wildly positive or very reserved, almost cautious. Most of us hope for better days, health, happiness or just some release of a heavy burden.  For me, it was the hope that my late mother would remember something beyond the walls of what Alzheimer’s allowed.  I kept hoping she would remember…me.  

 

When she passed away, that hope went along with her.   

 

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Doorway…

 

Another night of unsettling screams.  Cursewords mixed with prayers spread throughout the darkness.  Any chance of sleep was fleeting, just like the memories escaping from the room down the hall.  It would go on for hours, frenetic energy, fueled by a demon who made her keep searching and held the person she once was…hostage. 

I stood outside the doorway to her room, waiting for that one right moment to enter, hoping she might remember, armed in case she didn’t.  Tonight, my weapon of choice was a plate with oatmeal cookies instead of the graham crackers that she hated.  For a moment, I was a little girl again, clutching a teddy bear for comfort,  wanting, needing a mother who wasn’t there.

 

 

 

Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #53: Pitch Perfect

This week your Flicker of Inspiration prompt is to give us a pitch. A perfect pitch. Think of the description on the back of your favorite novel, the words that make you buy that book for your Kindle, the short paragraphs that let you know you MUST read that book.

I worked cookies into my pitch because of the role they played when I was caregiver for my late mother, thus the name of my book, “Another cookie, please!”.   Just about every combative situation (and there were many) could be dealt with by distracting her with a cookie, preferably chocolate chip.  Once, I made the mistake of handing her graham crackers which she promptly flung back at me.   The crackers made it clear across the kitchen table.  She had a good arm.

 

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