“I used to be beautiful,” she said as she looked into the mirror. “Now, I’m old and my beauty is gone.” I studied her reflection as she fixed her hair and put on her earrings. Her skin was dark, and baby soft, without a spot or scar. There were lines across her forehead, around her mouth and at the corners of her eyes. The skin around her neck was loose, but not lined. I didn’t see any missing beauty. I’d seen pictures of mama when she was twenty. She was just as beautiful today as she was fifty years ago, when the pictures were taken.
“You’re still beautiful, mama.”
“With all these lines in my face? No. Beauty is fleeting. Says so in the bible. Mine faded long ago.”
“But, there’s more to you than your face. You could’ve worn a paper bag over your head from the day you were born and you would still be beautiful.”
She turned, smiled at me planted a kiss on my forehead.
“You know how to make your grandmother feel good. Come, let’s go down to dinner.”
She headed down the stairs for dinner. I turned and looked at my reflection in the mirror. I saw traces of her features on my face. Beauty was generations deep in our family. I wondered if I would feel the same way about my reflection when I am my grandmother’s age. Only time will tell.