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The Magic Mirror

The Magic Mirror

To Cindy from Andy

She almost didn’t see the old mirror at the back of her closet. She was looking for her blue sweater to add another layer against the cold she felt at her core. The image of the mirror tugged at her and with great effort she pulled the wood and glass from its long sleep

She lifted the mirror from her dresser, leaning it against the wall, and sank onto the stool in an effort to catch her breath. Her first glance at the mirror had triggered distant memories. Of her games and conversation with this silent looking glass. “You were my secret friend” she said. “I told you secrets, I asked you questions, I grew up with you.” She smiled at the memory.

She had not talked to anyone about her mirror, but she kept it through every move and life change, for reasons known to her. In truth, the mirror spoke to her. Not in a voice that others could hear, but in a voice much like her one but one that seemed to hold wisdom and humor in balance beyond what Cindy felt she had at the time. She did not always agree with the voice, but she treasured it.

As she fingered the edges, worn smooth by countless touches, she thought of her time honored call to the mirror, that brought a small smile to her face. “Mirror Mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?”

She looked at her reflection in the mirror, and turned away in silent grief. With eyes closed, she became aware of a soft blue glow that seemed to envelope her. The voice that came to her sounded like her own from long ago: “You my lady You! You remain the fairest in the land”

Sudden tears of memory and sadness filled her eyes. She blurted out “look at me mirror look at me now. My hair has fallen out, My arms are all rashes and I am covered with scars!” The mirror’s voice said firmly “Oh Cindy look into my mirror! See the beauty there. See what people who know you see. My lady you have never been more lovely than you are tonight.”

The lightest wind seemed to move Cindy’s hair. “Your golden hair is just a single stroke in the masterpiece of your features, it’s loss cannot take away who and what you are. The scars you hide are but signs of the battles you have fought with courage, grace, and hope. These marks do not diminish but enhance the beauty you hold so deep and strong.”

The mirror mused “You walk into a room and captivate all there.
Your grace and beauty shimmer with a soft warm glow.”
“Why is it my lady fair that you are the only one blind to this?”

She stilled herself for a time, then turned to look again, but tears had filled her eyes.
“Mirror I am scared to go this path, it not by choice I’m here. I’d rather take a better road and watch my son grow old; or at least till 25! I’d quickly trade the rest. Take all my middle fifty’s years, I will not beg for more!”

The mirror sighed “Oh dearest love, with seer’s gifts, I cannot change your path. But steadfast I will walk with you and share the truth once asked.”

“I’m worried I won’t do it right, and hurt the ones I love.” She spoke these words and named a fear that haunted her at night. The mirror  whispered out these words as if sharing secret files “ Those exact same fears tear at your family, son to sisters to moms. I promise you Cindy, if you continue to listen to your heart and a bit more to the needs and pains of your body, you will travel this journey together with love, tears, and laughter, and this my lady will be the seeds of healing for them all.

About the Author-----------------

Jens Saakvitne was closely involved with crisis intervention and bereavement support through tissue and organ donation for thirty years. Jens was part of Alaska's crisis intervention team. In these roles Jens learned from many families who were kind enough to share their stories, pain and slow healing.  Recently, with family being struck by death, trauma, and serious illness, writing has become a form of  therapy.

Jens has a BA in Chemistry from Colorado College and an MBA from U Washington