I see it most often when it’s just her and I. With the generation between us out of the room, I get a glimpse into who she was. I know she hasn’t left her past behind, nobody does. She’s simply evolved over time and fills the role of an elder. She can’t do what she used to.Time isn’t usually kind.
We make a joke about my mother and share a laugh. I see it then. She’s younger. I see her as a child giggling with school friends. I see her as a young woman just like myself. There’s a sparkle; a glimpse into the past.
She’s a great-grandmother but does she still feel like a new mother inside? Does she wonder why the years moved her children away?
The mirror doesn’t match up with her memory as she tells us remarkable stories about herself. Her eyes sparkle most when she remembers.
Even if I have heard the stories before, I listen intently. I don’t want to lose any of the details. Once she’s gone, her stories will be gone too. It’s important to hold onto these pieces of her.