The Lines on My Face

The Lines on My Face

  • Submitted By: Harn
  • Date Submitted: 08/23/2010 2:37 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 631
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 347

I looked at myself in the mirror. I noticed the lines of my face and

the curve of my neck. I looked down at my hands remembering the moment

I first realized that they looked like hers. Long, thin, delicate

hands perfect for playing the piano or braiding cornrows. All my life

I had not noticed until the day I sat at her bedside holding her hand

in mine. She had told me that she was not afraid to die. We sat in

silence for a long time, sometimes sharing a stare and a smile. I

don't know how long I sat there, looking at her, realizing for the

first time who I looked so much like. As I stood in front of the

mirror, I remembered that day as I prepared for her funeral. Sarah

Smith, my grandmother's going home day. My father asked me to do her

eulogy. I had thought and thought of what to say. The words didn't

come until the morning of her funeral. That morning I went to the lake

where me, my brothers, and my sister would go swimming in the summer

on weekend visits to my grandmother's. As I soaked in the sun and

watched its rays dance on the waters a memory came.

As a child there were only two people that I would let touch my hair,

my mother and my grandmother. Cornrowing my hair was an event when my

grandmother did it. She would take me out on the stoop, bringing a

chair for herself, and I would sit in front of her with my head

between her knees. Moving my head in reaction to the slightest

direction from her hands became natural. Other women and children

would come and sit while she picked out my hair and greased my scalp.

I would listen to the women talk. I don't remember anything that was

said but I do remember the comfort of the stoop and my grandmother's

fingers doing magic in my hair.

Sitting on the dock I realized that I had never known my grandmother's

life story. I don't know the struggles she must have had as a black

woman in the South raising two...

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