Full Circle

Posted in short story | 8 comments

Old Dressing Table

Grace walked into her bedroom, then sat down on the stool in front of her antique dressing table.  She loved the dressing table with an attached mirror which had been her Grandma’s. It was her favorite place to brush her hair.  As Grace looked at her image in the mirror, she remembered her Grandmother’s reflection in that same mirror. She had often sat in her Grandmother’s lap while her Grandma had brushed her hair.  Memories began to flood her mind, bringing a smile to her face, and then she closed her eyes.

 “Grace, come into the bedroom.  It is time for Grandma to brush your hair.”

     Four-year-old Grace sang a silly song as she skipped from the playroom into her Grandmother’s bedroom then asked, “Grandma, will you hold me in your lap while you brush my hair?”

      Grandma answered her, “Of course, I will, sweet girl.”

     Grace looked at her and Grandma’s reflections in the mirror and giggled, then asked, “Grandma, why do you have those little lines at the outside of your eyes?

    Grandma laughed before she answered, “Grace, those tiny three lines on the outside of my eyes are sweet little bird’s feet. When we see things that make us smile, our eyes smile too, so happy eyes cause them to become deeper throughout the years.

    Grace smiled at herself in the mirror to see if she had the tiny bird’s feet too. She could nearly see them, but they were not as deep as Grandma’s, but she decided always to smile so she could see hers too.

   Meanwhile, Grandma continued to brush Grace’s long dark brown hair, knowing that her curious Granddaughter would soon ask another question, and sure enough, Grace asked her, “Grandma, why do you have those lines from your nose to your mouth?”

     Looking into the mirror and seeing Grace’s face staring at her, Grandmother laughed then said, “Grace, sweety, those are called smile lines. They get deeper and deeper the more you smile and laugh. Throughout the years, mine have gotten deeper and have deepened every time I look at your sweet face.”

    Grace laughed as she watched Grandma smile, but then she studied her Grandmother’s reflection looking at her hair. Grandma’s hair was such a different color than her hair, so she asked, “Grandma, why is your hair all mixed up with black, gray, and white? I want my hair to be the same color as yours.”

    Grandma pointed to a picture that sat on the dressing table then answered, “Grace, when I was young, my hair was dark brown, nearly black, but as I got old, my hair began to gray and turn white at the temples.  I think that our hair changes color as we care and share our love for others. “

     Sitting still on Grandma’s lap, Grace watched Grandma put her hair in a ponytail and braid her hair before holding her hands up to give them a look; then she asked, “Grandma, my hands are all smooth, and yours are all wrinkly. Why do your hands look like that?

      Looking at her hands as she braided Grace’s hair, Grandma answered, “When I was young, my hands looked like yours then as I used my hands to plant flowers in my garden and many other things, my hands began to keep track of the many things they had accomplished, so now they have wrinkles to show my hard work.”

    Grace watched as Grandma put a bow in her hair, then she said, “Grandma, I want to look just like you when I grow up. I want to have happy little bird’s feet eyes, smile face lines, wrinkly hands, and gray- black-white hair.”

    Getting down from Grandma’s lap, Grace hugged her Grandma’s neck, kissed her on the cheek, and then said, “I love you, Grandma.”

    Holding back tears of joy and love, Grandma told Grace, “I love you, too.”

    Grace ran out of the room as tears of love and joy ran down her Grandma’s face.

    Opening her eyes, Grace looked at her reflection in the mirror, then glanced down at the picture of her Grandma on the dressing table, then smiled again.  Looking back at her reflection, Grace saw that her tiny bird’s feet were now much more profound, her smile lines were very pronounced, and even her hair was now black, gray, and white, then Grace looked down at her hands, seeing the wrinkles of accomplishment, then laughed out loud.

    Suddenly a little girl ran into the room, saying, “Grandmommy, can I sit in your lap so you can brush my hair?”</>em

    Grace smiled at her four-year-old Granddaughter, then answered, “Ella, that would be so much fun. How about I brush your hair, then put it into a ponytail, and braid it?

    Grace smiled as her Granddaughter ran to her, knowing soon this curious little girl would start asking her questions one after the other, and she would love and answer every question.

    Ella climbed up into Grandmommy’s lap and looked at their reflections in the mirror, then looked at the picture on the dressing table, then she asked, “Grandmommy, tell me about your Grandma one more time. Did you sit in her lap and ask her questions while she brushed your hair?  Did your Grandma give you this dressing table?  Can I have a purple bow in my hair today?  What did you say those lines are beside your eyes?  Did you know when you smile, you have lines from your nose to your mouth?  Your hands are wrinkly.  I want to have black, gray, and white hair like yours.  Why are you laughing?”

    Grace laughed as she tried to get a word in between her Granddaughter Ella’s questions, and she could feel her Grandma’s spirit laughing by her side, but the beauty of it all was the fact that she now not only looked like her Grandma but had become her Grandma with her Granddaughter asking the questions.  Life had become full circle in the mirror.

Visits: 365


  1. You are not only a blessing to your granddaughters, but now also to your great-granddaughters. (To your grandsons/great-grandsons as well. Just differently.)

    My mother says she doesn’t mind her wrinkles. At least they don’t hurt! 🙂

    May the circle continue.

    • Thank you so much Jerry. There is nothing like communicating with a Grandchild. Their questions are so true to heart.
      God Bless You,

  2. This was a delightful story about the grace of growing old. Life is a circle of events. And some of which can live a life time. This was heartwarming and delightful.

    • Eva Marie, thank you so much. I think growing old is just that, a graceful part of living and loving life.
      God Bless You,

  3. Nancy, this story is beautiful. Made me teary-eyed. You have a warm way of writing that touches the heart.

    • Thank you so much. I really enjoyed writing this story.
      God Bless You,

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this reality!
    Another gem.

    • Thank you, Chuck. I really enjoyed writing this story.
      God Bless You,

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