The Faces in the Mirror

“Lift me up please.”

“I hurt.”

“I love you.”

The words ring familiar in my ears, words I must have said hundreds of times while growing up. I glance at the mirror in the bedroom and there before me is a small blonde-haired girl holding her Daddy. Love and adoration on both their faces. His light blue eyes sparkle in amusement at the pestering of the child as she runs her hands through his jet black hair. “I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you more.”

I’m staring at the faces in the mirror. It’s the same daughter, the same father and yet a lifetime separates us.

“Lift me up.”

“I hurt.”

“I love you.”

The faces reflect the same adoration and love but the roles are reversed. No longer is Dad holding me up. I’m holding him up. No longer is Dad stroking my hair, I’m stroking his. When did this transformation take place? When did I become the parent he the child? I’m not ready for this role yet. I’m the baby of the family. I’m the youngest. It’s my role and mine alone.

And yet here I am, holding up my father, feeding him, bathing him and making sure his needs are met.

“I love you, Ann.”

“I love you more, Daddy.”

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