Grand at the Mirror

winter scene, snow, windowI’m trying desperately to avoid the knocking.

At first I thought it was the sound of one of “my” hummers knocking on the bedroom window. All summer I’d watched the hummingbirds sprint around our feeder hanging just outside the window, their long thin pointy tongues drawing sweet water out of the teeny tiny hole meant to mimic the center of a flower.

But it’s now December, the hummers have sensibly flown to warmer climes, and I’m here staring out at the window, listening to the knock on glass. But nothing is across from me on the other side of the window but falling snow.    Sighing, I cross the room to my antique dresser, the one that belonged to my great-grandmother, who died years before I was born. I stand before the large oval mirror joined at the top of the dresser and framed with mahogany.  Yes, there she is. Great-Grandmamma, tapping her fingernail on the other side of the speckled mirror, waiting impatiently.Pixabay images, antique mirror

Grandmama, or just “Grand,” which is what she likes me to call her, first introduced herself to me when I was 12 and my parents replaced my child’s furniture with Great-Grandmama’s bedroom set, which had been in storage for decades. Somehow mom knew that I was connected to her grandmother in ways no one else in the family understood. I didn’t either until the day I’d raced home from a field hockey match, all sweaty and teary-eyed because my team had lost, and I heard a thin high-pitched voice exclaim, “Get over it, save your tears for things that matter.”

darksouls1, Pixabay image, ghostI’d stopped and stared, open-mouthed, at the heart-shaped, ancestral face,  hair bunned into perfection , talking to me from the mirror.

Yes, the mirror.

Her introductions were brief, the explanation for her visit briefer. “I’m your Great-Grandmama and spiritual guide. Don’t thank me now, but we’re soul-connected, and I’m here for you whenever you need me.”

She was right about that, yet wrong in some ways. She arrived lots of times but she rarely gave me what I needed.

“Stop thinking so much,” she demanded. “The answers will come at their own time.” Her eyes, as sharp as pencil points, glared into mine.

“But I don’t know…” I began

“Of course you don’t,” Grand interrupted. “You’re not supposed to see into the future.” She paused as if wondering whether to continue with a secret. “But, you’re one of the lucky ones. You have me…”

I tilted my head closer to the mirror. “So can you tell me what I should do?”

Pssssh,” Granny responded. She was good at pshaws. “Of course I could tell you. But I won’t.” antique mirror, ghost, Pixabay image

And then with a thin smile, she disappeared, and only my own flushed confused face, faced me.

107 thoughts on “Grand at the Mirror

  1. Oh, I love this. And the snow and bit of ghostliness, makes it a perfect seasonal tale. I can truly imagine your grandmother visiting you through the mirror.

    Both of my grandmothers died when I was very young. My older daughter though feels a spiritual connection to them.

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  2. Your story brought tears to my eyes as I recalled my special relationship with my only grandmother. I often feel her presence, praticularly when I read her Bible. It belonged to her husband, my grandfather. He was holding this Bible in his hands when he suffered a fatal heart attack while ministering to his congregation. I loved your story! xo

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  3. I too love this story. We can learn so much from our ancestors. I often feel my grandmother talking to me. I only hope I can offer guidance to my grand and great-grandchildren. Even if I´m not physically with them.

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    • I have that same hope, Darlene. Thus, I make sure to teach the grand ones that are nearby the proper way to make chocolate chip cookies and how to hang a Christmas ornament just right. My three grandsons who live on the other coast – I’ve been known to send them greeting paper and stamps so they learn how to use them (oh, and with envelopes with my address on them). 🙂

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  4. Pam, this was such a wonderful story. I could see that antique furniture and the mirror in my mind’s eye, but strangely, the image of Grand was replaced by that of my own great-grandmother, Grandma Jones, who passed away when I was seven years old (my elder daughter was born on her birthday). How amazing to think that our ancestors guide us—in their own ways—and speak to us even many years after they’re physically gone.

    Thanks for a beautiful start to my Friday.

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  5. Pam, you have a gift for drawing the reader in from the very first and even as you answer what the knock isn’t you leave us desperately wanting to know more. Oh, you paint such a powerful image of your grand ma I’m sure I can see her, hear her … a wonderful character and very much her own person. Is it something about grandmother’s that make them seem invincible, always there for us but not mother-coddling. As with so many comments here your post recalls to me my Mormor (mother’s mother) and how one winter I fell into the low tide of the sea, through the frost! Expecting lots of sympathy and exclamations when I’d walked back to the house she almost smiled and asked why was I just standing there in my wet clothes and best get them off! Of course, then followed hot chocolate and home made cake … the world was put all to rights again!😀

    How lovely that you have the hummingbirds in the summer and such thick snowfall in winter – it looks idyllic and thank you for sharing through the video – don’t reckon you want the rain pics from my study?!😀 Wishing you a peaceful weekend. hugs xx ❤️

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    • I have huge respect and yes, love, for your Mormor. I think your Grandmother was the kind of grand-woman I aspire to be. The kind that “puts the world all to right again.” Hot chocolate and homemade cake are the #1 best ways to do so.

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  6. A magical tale that had me leaning closer to your mirror for a look of my own. initially I though some wee hummingbird had the calendar completely upside down. Much better to know of the mystical tapping of spiritual connection.

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  7. I envy you your ‘soul arbiter’ – there are absolute reasons for my having one! At this point, perhaps, the ‘Spirit World’ sees me as ‘throw-away flesh’ – but, I hope not….
    Wishing you, ‘Warrior Princess’, and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂

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  8. Pam, I love your mirror metaphor. Mirrors both reflect and distort. I believe the mirror in your story could do either, depending on the viewer.

    Mirrors in Grandma Longenecker’s bedroom had some waviness, enough to make them look ancient and a little ghostly. I like jow the Grandmother in your story divulged just enough wisdom to fit you at any age, even now, imparting a spiritual connection.

    By the way, I “saw” the snowflake video as sound, ever so gentle and comforting. Thank you for ALL of this, a multi-sensory encounter that touched a deep chord somewhere inside. 🙂

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    • The waviness really helps when we use our imagination to see who is talking to us from the other side of the mirror. Many times the advice we give ourselves comes from those who came before us. In some ways, as you know, they are still there, definitely within us.
      Thanks for enjoying my video of the “snow sugar” that fell outside my writing space last week. It may be beautiful but I also imagine myself listening to the palm trees that you must have nearby your own home, swaying with a beautiful sound. 🌴 ❄️

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  9. Your “magical realism” evoked many emotions Pam. Such a blessing to see changing seasons from the window you choose and then create a lovely story that exudes wisdom! I love how you’ve blended both! Beautifully creative.

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    • Last week we had what is called “sugar snow” – big fast flakes that make it look like you are in a winter wonderland. Glad I could share it with you all here. Snow is cold and challenging for outside activities, but when we include a touch of wonder it does become beautiful. Just like the face knocking on my mirror. 🥰 THANK you, Balroop.

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  10. Lovely winter story to wake up to!!!
    Thx as always for your vivid imagination
    that keeps us all waiting for another tale!
    Have a beautiful Pre-Christmasy day,
    dear friend! 🎄⛄️❤️🎄⛄️💚🎄⛄️

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  11. Oh, I love this, Pam. A fairy godmother tale with a bit of an attitude. Lol. And she seems like she was perfect for you – keepin’ it real. Lol. Enjoy the snow and the warmth of your connection to those who still are in your life, one way or another. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe, my friend.

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  12. I love it, Pam. I think this is the way your grandmother or great-grandmother wanted you to write about your relationship with them and their meaning in your life. It’s amazing of how furniture could make the connection of the present into the past in spirit. I only remember more of my paternal grandmother and only saw my maternal grandmother once. I was born late in my mother’s age so my grandparents were gone when I was young.

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    • Whether or not we got to know the women of our past, I feel that they are always still part of us, so I love your idea that they helped me write this piece. My grandmother was five when I died so I only have fuzzy memories and I never met my great-grandmother, but I heard enough stories about both of them that I do feel their spirits nearby. 🙏

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    • Great idea, Donna! I also have my great grandmother’s and my grandmother’s China and Crystal and even though it’s too elegant I still use it for special family times because it draws us generations all together.

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  13. If only we could connect with the loved ones that have gone on!!! I have never had anything like this happen to me. I often wish that I could hear my mother’s voice! She always knew what to say to calm me or give me guidance.

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  14. And although you think it isn’t what you need, it most likely is! Unfortunately I hardly remember my grandparents, so no wisdom there, though I do still recall my grandmother’s bedroom in great detail, with her dark wooden wardrobes and her dressing table with its three winged mirror…

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    • How I wish you had that three-winged mirror/dresser in your own home now, Andrea. Ah, the things that could come knocking to you!
      I didn’t know my grandmother (on my mom’s side) long, since she died when I was 5, but I’m told I’m most like her. And every once in a while I feel her presence. It’s quite comforting. ❤

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  15. So, I do need to know whether any of this is based on real life…

    I had a great connection with my oma (grandma) and hoped to somehow feel her presence once she passed away. She and I even talked about this before her mind became absent, but I don’t see or feel any signs. I do have her close to my heart, literally and figuratively, especially when I wear my necklace with some of her ashes. Yet, I don’t feel her guidance. Yet?

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    • If hearing the distant voices of our grandmothers and grandfathers and savoring the advice and love they surrounded us with is considered real life, then yes, this story is non-fiction, Liesbet. 🙂 I believe that our loved ones, gone from this Earthly form, listen to us, and lead us on the right path in subtle ways. I have no doubt your Oma does. ❤

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  16. Wow, about the antique dresser, Pam! Beautiful! I am holding my breath and goosebumps reading this story. The term “soul-connected” is new to me. Fiction or non-fiction or morphed together? I see my grandmother’s eyes staring back at me in the mirror. Pictures from long ago show how I inherited her eyes. I love the comments on the homespun wisdom. You have transported me again, Pam, as you always do.❤️

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  17. Hi – I am back again to check in and this gave me chills after I slowly read it today.
    So well done and of course wise gram is going to not tell what to do – but the support system and connection was powerful
    And my nephew passed away in 2017 and twice I have felt his connection – not in a mirror but it was very cool !

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    • I’m delighted that you read my “Grand” story. In odd and wonderful ways, I had no idea where the story…and the knocking…came from, but I think my own “Gran,” Nanny, led me to the power of our loved ones’ presence. Blessings to your nephew…and to you.

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      • And blessings to you –
        Oh and one more quick story – when I went to Florida for my aunt’s funeral – I painted a small birdhouse on the waterfront and took a selfie and I could sorta see her face in my face- other people saw it too – like her nose was there – she was a nose picker and so she had wider hokes (lmao) and seriously – it didn’t even look like me – hahaha – but later I thought it was kind of cool – because genetic relations are special – glad we can pick friends and have other close relations – but sometimes the bloodline has this vibe to it

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  18. Lucky you to have a magic mirror and your great- grand in it to visit with. I would love to talk to my grandmother again. So much I would ask her now that I had no interest in knowing when younger. I wonder if that is why the expression “knowledge is wasted on the young” means. Say hi from me to your Grand the next time she visits…enjoy your mirror for what it offers now and what it gives from before.

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