Mothers and Daughters

Although most of my blog posts are about social injustices that I hear about in Circles, this one is about a conversation I was listening to at the Senior Center. It was our biweekly breakfasts and I was sitting at a table with three women, the conversation was light and happy until one of them began talking about her little sister who was undergoing chemotherapy but seemed to be losing her battle. She then continued to say that she doesn’t want to lose anybody else because losing her mother, years ago, was hard enough. “I hate looking into the mirror,” was one of the things that stuck with me the most from the conversation. At first I assumed she didn’t like looking into the mirror because it reminded her of how old she had gotten and how it was hard to have the spirit of somebody who’s much younger and be stuck in the body of somebody who can barely walk. Similar to the other two women, my guess was wrong because the reasoning was a lot worse. The woman who had been talking said, “I look like her. I look just like my mom…out of the three daughters, I’m the one who gets to look in the mirror and see her face.”

Nothing has every hit me harder in my entire life like that did, because like her, I look just like my mom, especially when I smile. How hard must it be to not be able to look in the mirror and smile because you’ll be remembered of losing the first person you ever learned to love. Throughout the summer I have seen women who have done similar to what my own mother has done to me which is infuse the best things about them in their children. Their determination, hard work, and their love are things many of us have gotten from our mothers. When we look into the mirror one day, when we are old and our grandchildren are grown, we’ll look into the mirror and see our mothers’ looking back at us, smiling and their love shining through but it won’t be them. That’s the difficult part it seems, that you look into the mirror to see the one you love but it’s just a face and not them. You are left with what seems like an eternal photograph that you can’t ever stop looking at.

Ivy Helena Torres ’18