About a month ago, I was at the visitation of my grandma’s brother, Norman. His 12 children lined the communion rail. As we made our way through, I was struck by how much they each favored one parent, or were a compilation of both. With both of their parents now deceased, they are their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. These children carry their parents with them into worlds their parents will never know.
Of course I feel the same way about my mom. I grew up with us being “mistaken” as sisters, always hearing how much I looked like her. My dad is in there too, but my mom reigns in this face of mine.
I have a picture of Max from football this year. I love it because it captures more of who he will be than who he is right now. Everyone says he looks like me when they see that photo. It makes me feel good on many levels. One simply being, as the bearer of pain to bring him into the world than he better look something like me! The other, perhaps less conscious, is the deeper knowledge some part of me lives on in him – regardless of whether I live in this world.
I am stating the obvious: we touch immortality in what we leave behind. Children are just one of the ways. As I hugged my cousins, I was touched by what of Uncle Norman and Aunt Rosemary continues to live on in them.
And too, what of my mom remains in me.