So many stories in my long life. I wish I had the time to tell you all of them, or you had the time to listen. But I’ll tell just a few now, if you can spare a minute. I’ve been around for such a long time, and I have seen so many things.

Back about 100 years ago (yep, I’m actually that old and then some), I saw something terrible happen. I was in the long upstairs hallway in the first place I stayed, a huge old house, many rooms, and the owner—a nice guy—once came home from a trip earlier than expected so he could surprise his wife.

It was late. He thought she’d be so happy to see him, but she wasn’t because you see, she was in flagrante delicto with the nice man’s visiting cousin. There was a terrible scene ending in the fleeing cousin’s being shot dead, right smack in the center of his bare back. I saw it all. And I could do nothing.

I moved to another home after that and saw happier things there. Lots of holidays and Christmases with many happy children, except for that one time. I was in the living room when a tiny barefooted child cut her foot on a broken glass ornament and the bleeding would not stop no matter what her family tried.

They got that child into a car, but it was cold and the crank would not work so the car did not start. A neighbor with a horse and buggy came by and they got that little girl to a hospital, but she eventually lost her foot.

She was brave and strong and lived a full and productive life and I got to see her succeed in all things, regardless of her handicap. I was even present on her wedding day and got to watch her marry her beloved in that same living room, and I felt proud to watch her walk toward her groom without limping.

I stayed in many other houses over the years and was lucky enough to be given good comfortable rooms where I could see beautiful views from the windows. I watched with sadness and fear as a few young men left our home wearing khaki uniforms, most of them returning after a few years, some with damaged bodies, all with damaged minds.

I never went to war, but I could see the terrible toll it took on the young men I knew so well; men I’d watched grow from newborns to adults. I was so proud of them as they struggled to make their lives whole again.

I’ve seen new puppies and kittens come into the family as beloved pets, and was still around when it was time for them to be put down and I grieved with the families when that had to happen, and it always did.

There were things throughout my long life I should never have seen, but people often forgot I was in those rooms and so they fought horribly or made love strenuously and when they noticed I was watching, they sometimes laughed, sometimes threw a blanket over me, sometimes pushed me into a closet, and sometimes even seemed to want me to watch, but mostly just ignored me. I know I should not have watched these goings-on, but I was there and had no choice, had I?

In one of my homes, I was in what they called the “family room” back then, and was nearby when the parents decided their marriage had to end and wished I had not had to watch them cling to one another and weep, knowing divorce was inevitable. It was in that same family room I watched that divorced mother homeschool all her children and I was present when they all left for fine colleges.

I was in the rooms where old people breathed their last and I could only watch, wanting to help but could not. So many stories, so many good and bad happenings, huge changes in clothing and hair styles, soaring joys and thudding sorrows. I have seen more in my long life than most have.

I am very old now and my glass has become clouded, the reflections cracked and dimmed—but never the memories.