Tuesday, July 18, 2017
When We Look in the Mirror
Ever since I posted the pictures of my room yesterday, I've been thinking how I missed just one thing, and it was a very important thing: Granny's dresser. The room, being small and rather stuffed with furniture (which is the way I like it, thank you very much), wasn't easy to take pictures of and I.....well, I just plain didn't think of it.
Lots of people seem to have access to heirloom furniture--things passed down from one generation to the next. That's something I've always admired. It's something that I didn't have and wished I did. It was only because my sister was able to share them with me that I have my grandfather's highboy bureau (which lives usefully, if unceremoniously, in the bathroom) and my grandmother's dresser.
Granny and Andrew (that's what I always called them) adopted my infant father when they were nearly 40 years old and thought that they could have no children of their own. A surprise daughter was born a year later. They were immigrants--farm people from the Oulde Sod, Ireland, who continued to farm in the US--and they worked hard all their long lives.
Granny was, my mother always reminded me, a raw-boned, gangly, awkward, graceless woman. Mother could not understand why Granny had chosen such a dainty dresser for herself. If Granny stood up straight, she wouldn't be able to see her face in the mirror because she was too tall. And not being pretty, why should she need pretty furniture?
You know what? I believe that my mother's not-too-kind description is precisely why Granny would have chosen such a thing. We all have to keep a dream tucked in our hearts, and we have to be able to imagine ourselves as something whimsical and charming, especially when our lives are not. It refreshes the spirit and gives us strength for moving forward. That's why I say: Good going, Granny! You were really brave and wise!
And you know what else? No matter how I bad I might seem looking back at myself in any other mirror, I always look nice in the mirror on Granny's dresser.
Life is good.