Occasionally I will take a moment and stare at myself in a mirror and smile. It has nothing to do with vanity. Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I see my mother. As time marches on, I start to see the same fine lines on my face that were on my mother’s. I have her smile. She is gone, but I see her in my mirror image. I take another look. This time I see her stubbornness, her courage, her kindness, a bit of her temperament. I see her musical talent, her drive to preserve family photos, her love of anything dark chocolate. Her essence is there.
I look harder at my mirror image, and I see more than just my mom. I see my dad and his analytical mind and his interest in many diverse subjects—psychology, religion, science, woodworking, foreign languages. I have his knack for learning foreign languages. I have his laugh.
I see the reflection of my grandmother, Na-na, in my writing abilities and love of language. She was always writing little poems and limericks, and we enjoyed many games of Scrabble together. I share her love of family history and the importance of preserving it. I share her love of baseball, and I inherited a bit of her athletic ability. I see my Auntie Shirl in my love of rocks and pretty crystals, wineries, and playing cards with friends. She shared her wisdom about life, that I will remember always. I see a bit of my friends as well in my mirror image. From one friend, I get the love of biking on trails, staying active, and cooking.
When I look at myself, there is more than just one person that I see in my reflection. It is said that you become like the five people closest to you. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
As you navigate through life, your influence radiates from your spirit, like ripples from a stone tossed into a pond. As you interact with others and share aspects of yourself, your ripples intersect with theirs, until they merge. Part of you becomes part of them, and they become part of you. Some people create bigger ripples than others, ripples that shape the essence of our being. Typically, these are mothers, fathers, close family members, and friends. I am comprised of those closest to me who have cared for me and invested in my life, and those who have passed on will continue to live on in me. Our influence on others is greater than we might ever realize.
Who do you see in your mirror image? Who would see you in theirs?
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