“What’s Mom Doing in My Mirror?!”

I sleepily walked into the bathroom, tired from an Easter weekend filled with chocolate and relatives. “What’s Mom doing in my mirror?” I wondered aloud as I stared with heavy, sleep-filled eyes at the image staring back at me. I half smiled and Mom gave a little smile back. Ahhh! Nice!

I backed up and Mom moved away from the mirror…I moved forward and she did the same. And with that motion I realized with a shock that the young 26-year-old I once was was replaced with a version that was recognizable only as my Mom.

And I love my Mom. She is lovely. She has aged with grace and beauty. She is also 32 years older than me, so to see myself 32 years older than I had imagined was a big surprise.

I was relaying this to a friend and she began to nod her head and laugh. “Yes!” She said. “I know exactly what you mean!” She was recently in a store and had to show her license to validate her identity. The teenager behind the counter looked at the license, looked at her, and gasped aloud “What happened to you?!” He wasn’t old enough to have the tact to hide his shock.

Aging comes with its humorous moments and that is a gift. A gift because much dignity is lost as I go from being that young cute thing to being described as that “Older or middle-aged woman”.  A gift because laughter is so incredibly healing in this journey called aging as mirrors reflect back mothers or strangers, and even doctors can’t stall the inevitable.

So I waved goodbye to my Mom and told her I’d see her in the reflection of the car window. Not surprisingly, she waved back!

Have you seen your mom or dad in your reflection recently? Do tell! We need each other in this process!

30 thoughts on ““What’s Mom Doing in My Mirror?!”

  1. after sharing with my sister’s that I often see my mom in the bathroom mirror, usually it is when I’m in a hurry. I just glance over and there she is…she has been gone now for quite a whie but she is always in my heart and Iam always talking to her, just miss her…


  2. I clicked immediately on your article when I saw the title. I had heard my own mom say the same thing about herself and her mother many years ago. Now it is my turn. Yes, I knew I favored my mother all my life, but now it’s almost scary the resemblance of what I see in pictures of myself. It’s like, “where did I go”? My mother has replaced me. This has also happened at the same time as menopause, so all these new changes have been challenging. My outer self does not jive with my inner self that still feels so much younger, just as a previous commentator stated. The period of shock I guess is over! Now I guess I’m settling into this new phase; it helps knowing others have had some of the same feelings.


    1. I totally relate with this entire comment Kathy – I’m so glad you decided to comment! As much as I want to laugh about it all the time, aging is not for the faint hearted! Thanks for relating on all levels with this post.


  3. I’ve been hearing my mother come out of my mouth for so many years that seeing her in the mirror actually came as a relief! Of course I’m also closer to your mom’s age than yours so that may be why it hit me a little differently.


    1. Ha ha! I’ve heard that from others! And as I hear from people I realize how fun it actually is….at least if you love your mom! thanks for coming by.


  4. Thanks for this, Marilyn. A nice reminder of my own experience. I had known for years that I looked a bit like my mom but also like my dad’s sisters. As I grew up, it wasn’t positive to hear others tell me so! But some months after Mom died in 2001, I too looked in my mirror and saw her looking back at me. Unlike during my earlier years, it was a source of comfort that even though she was no longer with us, she was and always will be part of me.


    1. I totally get how it changes and others have said the same thing. Funny how something that initially is not welcome becomes welcome through the years! Thanks so much for sharing.


  5. Having lunch with Joann today I was talking on and on about something when she interjected, “Now that was a Marsha look!” — you guessed it, Marsha is my mom. And yes, I look more and more like her with every passing day! Yikes and Yay!


  6. Not only the mirror but others remind me that I look like my mother! Have you seen yourself in one of your daughters???


  7. I don’t see my Mom in the mirror as much as I hear her in my voice. When I laugh or when talking to my sisters and realizing that all three of us sound like her. :-)


  8. As one nears 70 (ME), our grandchildren say, “your hands look just like great-grandma’s did.” Gram’s been deceased 4 1/2 years but (in a sense) as long as I am alive, she will also be.

    Wait until you get the full length mirror version of yourself, I have the same varicose vein line as Mother had. I feel grateful for all of my hereditary lines, especially Mom’s sense of humor.


    1. True isn’t it? After that initial shock and realization there is that humor and gratefulness for what generations pass down! (Along with favorite recipes!) So glad you came by – even more so that you commented!


  9. And I remember the surprise of seeing someone who looked so much like my mother walking toward me in a store (back when they had more mirrors in stores). Oh, the shock when I realized that it was me! Let me know when you see Grandma K. smiling at you out of your mirror, Marilyn.
    Still thanking God for the great weekend. So glad you could come.


  10. Hitting the mid 40s, (I’ll be 45 this year) I am my mother. Every little quirk I was cocksure I would escape has got me and sunk in deep into every pore of my being. Every idiosyncrasy, the intonations of voice, even her nagging tone of voice ;-) has crept in on me while I was busy trying to establish my own distinct Identity.
    Eh??? What was that again?
    My mum will be 70 this year but looks no older than 55 at most times. If nothing else I know I’ll still look young for at least another 25 years.

    As always what a wonderful read Marilyn. Hope you had a Happy, Holy and Blessed Easter.

    I spent mine with my Mum :-)


    1. So lovely that you have those young genes! I have to say my mom’s skin is gorgeous! Would that I be so lucky. And Averil – I was going to say that you look at least 15 years younger than your age….at least in blog pictures :) What can we do but laugh and enjoy right? Thanks so very much for the Easter blessings – I spent mine with my Mum as well. A lovely weekend. Did you cook?!


      1. Oh no! this is mum’s turf and unless she gives the nod I don”t get in the way at all. We’re both pretty strong-headed and have our own very distinct ways of functioning. .. Who am I kidding?

        No, we’re just too similar to share kitchen space :-)


  11. haha,this hasn’t yet happened to me,but i have been ‘supposedly’ growing up and since the coming of age realisation,i always fear that this might just happen to me some day!!!
    great post btw!!


  12. Heheh I laughed outloud at your friend’s story and chuckled at yours!! I can see my mum in my mirror too although she’s still slightly different. I STILL feel like I’m in my mid-twenties or even (sometimes) in my teens. It’s only when I hear my friend’s daughter’s 14 year old ask me what Dirty Dancing the movie was about that I think whaaaat? or see teenagers skinny wee bodies that I am suddenly struck by the fact that I am not the age I feel! Oh. And my bum seems to belong to someone else! It’s certainly not mine and keeps making unwelcome appearances in shop window reflections.

    I’m officially vintage. Almost twice over. Is that depressing or is that cool? I can’t decide. Vintage is in so I’m going with cool.


    1. You my darling are the epitome of cool!! And I laughed out loud in the subway at your comment about your bum. Unfortunately I can’t blame mine on age …. But my chin definitely belongs to another.

      Marilyn Gardner Sent from my iPhone


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