reflection in mirror6am. Eleanor grumbled to herself as she dragged herself out from under her warm covers and hurried across the icy corridor to the bathroom. It was too early and altogether too cold to be out of bed. She should have told John to make his own way home. Who needed picking up at 6.30 anyway? Ridiculous.

Splashing her face with water at the sink she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and leaned in for a closer look. Hmm. Those eye bags weren’t getting any smaller and the lines round her mouth seemed to be extending too. And the patches making their way across her sallow skin were clearly age spots now rather than freckles. Her hair contained more than a mere smattering of grey and the skin on her jaw – she pinched a bit – yes, it was definitely starting to sag. There was no denying it. She was getting old.

The side of her mouth twitched and, as she caught her own eye in the mirror, she couldn’t help it: a huge grin spread across her face. Old age! She had never expected to see it. No one had expected it. She doubted that even John, who had sat beside her in the oncologist’s office that awful day and assured her, “You’re strong, you’ll beat this!” had really dared to believe his own words. But she had defeated the odds and here she was. And there those beautiful wrinkles, grey hairs and saggy bits were too.

Walking back into the bedroom she picked up the teardrop necklace John had given her for their thirtieth anniversary and fastened it round her neck. It caught the first rays of morning light and shone. But not as brightly as her smile.

It’s been a tricky week. There has been bad news and sad news but none worse than that which a good friend of mine received about her health. I was thinking about her as I wrote this story. I fervently hope I will be complementing her on her gorgeous silvery hair in many, many years to come. The idea of growing old can be scary but the idea of never getting to grow old… well if that’s not a reason to celebrate our wrinkles I don’t know what is.

Prose for Thought

22 thoughts on “reflections

  1. Yvette

    What a beautiful story – the last line brought a tear to my eye – wonderfully written. I’m so sorry to hear about your friends bad health news, hopefully she will be celebrating her grey hairs and wrinkles in many years to come x #prose4T

    1. Maddy Post author

      Sorry to hear about your friend – sending good wishes to you and her too. I’m trying to look at my wrinkles differently now. Thanks Emily. x

  2. Morgan Prince

    Brilliant story Maddy. I really love the smiles at the end. Sorry to hear about your week and I hope your friend is okay. Thinking of you and sending virtual hugs your way. xx #Prose4T

  3. Funky Wellies

    Very much enjoyed your story and the way it ended.
    So sorry to hear about your rough week and of course the news about your friend.
    Hugs to you both. xx

  4. Chrissie Metcalf (Kristina)

    You’ve done her (and yourself) proud with this. Don’t forget that THIS HAPPENS! And that’s the important bit (did you do the drawing btw??) x

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Chrissie. I only wish I could draw like that – it’s a photo I took of myself that i put through a filter. Though I’ve half a mind to pretend to be that talented! xx

  5. Rachael

    What a beautiful story… and I hope that you are there to celebrate your friend’s silvery hair and wrinkles too. Sorry you had such a rough week and I hope that this week is much better for you. x

  6. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had such a sad week. sending virtual hugs x
    I love the shift in the story, from assuming that she’s grumpy about getting old to her smiles; I felt a smile spread across my face too. Beautiful.

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Sara, I’m glad it made you smile. I’ve been reminding myself recently of how much I have to be grateful for. It’s so silly to worry about wrinkles and grey hairs! xx


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