Reflections

Reflections shimmer, showcasing the child born of a couple, married young. Loved and trusting. Her blonde hair curls softly. A cascade of ringlets, shaped by her mother’s hand. Pretty cotton dresses decorate. Shyness sits in deep brown eyes, shaded by heavy lashes.

Sitting in the future of this chubby cheeked toddler is a gangly middle school adolescent. Her head lowered to avoid her own awkward curves and frizzy hair. Some are accepting but others are not. Confusion etched into unclear skin. Wonders of a first crush cause her heart to race, yet she searches for something more. She almost misses her own goodbye.

Brown hair, not curly-not straight, teased and hair sprayed no longer holds the blonde from her youth. A second skin of rebellion suffocates what use to be. Shyness hibernates beneath a smile of straight teeth until this image fades. 

A young mother steps in place. Now a women. No longer a girl. Impatient. Learning by choice. Working to buy groceries and scavenging the aisles of food with a calculator in hand and she hopes she has hidden enough. A toddler babbles while holding her hand urging the woman’s perseverance.

The crack buries itself deep within the mirrored image of a new divorcee, yet she smiles that perfect again, for she is finally free. The toddler of a bitter marriage grows and the woman’s brown hair shows hints of grey.

Image of searching and denial stare back. Dating life has no feeling and the vastness of her reflection scares her until a man steals her heart within one dance.

The woman, once again smiles and holds her head high. Proud and loved. Strength reveals and new smiles are born of children are raised.

Middle age creeps across the reflection.  Slow, yet furious.Yoga pants. Sans makeup. And then she is gone. No time for idle wondering, she settles issues and carpools. Worrying about children who are growing too fast.

Thin cracks spread between each new vision.  Shattered splinters cause temporary pain and hang in vain showcasing long, forgotten memories of what was. Fear and joy intertwine, drawing blood from her fingertips, alienating who she was. Who she is.  Perfection pushes for solutions. To make her cracked image acceptable and better than reality.

Thankfully, she allows the cracks to remain and accept their claim to a life well lived. These slender, web-like trails are her history; summer vacations at amusement parks and the thousands of rollercoasters scream silently to be ridden again.  There is a roar of Gulf Coast waves overpower her thudding heart as she remembers a failed marriage that strengthened the weak. The newfound love which revitalized hope. Raising children overwhelmed yet echoed peace.  

Within her own eyes she finally sees herself as whole.

 

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