Whose face do you see when you look in the mirror?
Recently I went on a business trip that’s took me through 4 airports, 3 rental cars, a subway ride, 3 hotels, and more lines than I care to recall. While I was waiting in those lines, I looked in a lot of faces, and heard lots of conversations. One conversation in particular stands out – two young women in their early 20s were behind me talking about another person. I wasn’t eavesdropping, but voices in a jet way are quite clear. The comment that stopped me? “Yeah, he’s 35 you know, and that’s like, you know, old.”
I’m over two decades past the age of 35, and I obviously have a different outlook on life than those two young women. Or do I?
I’m not normally the type that looks at myself in a mirror. But this comment, along with comments from my colleagues I had not seen in several months made me look in the mirror in the hotel that night. Just who was that looking back at me?
The face I saw was that of my father. Even though he passed away four years ago, I still have vivid memories of him. Going places he’d been, seeing things he had talked about, reading about things he was interested in – my memories are constant, and good.
This morning, I looked long in the mirror and the vision I saw was that of my father, coming into focus like a picture being developed right in front of my eyes.
Thought of another way, however, that familiar face embedded in my mind morphed into my son’s and then into his son’s – my grandson. Like a modern day mashup, those collections of lives lived, and yet to live, offer a considerable span of history. A long life lived, a life at halftime, a life in early adulthood, and a life just beginning – that’s quite a few faces in the mirror.
It doesn’t take a magic mirror to see the past in your own face, or wonder about the future in the face of your children and grandchildren.
Who knows when you will glance into a mirror and meet a past you hadn’t expected and weren’t ready for, or a future that is yet to come.