I pulled up her Facebook page, smiled as I viewed her profile photo. It was a Christmas shot of her mom.
“How sweet,” I thought. I read through her posts, clicked on her photo albums.
That’s when reality smacked a blow to my psyche. “All those photos of her mom, aren’t of her mom at all. They’re her!”
I remember hearing what I considered a silly saying when I was a young lady. It had to do with making sure to check out the parents of the man or woman you intended to spend your life with, because that’s how they’ll look in twenty or thirty years.
I used to laugh, figured it was a joke, a complete exaggeration. As I physically transform from the young lady I still see in my mind’s eye, I realize that we often become those who bore us.
Not everyone, of course. But photos of many of my high school friends, the ones whose parents I also knew quite well, reflect those parents I recall. And, since I haven’t been physically near any of these friends for twenty to thirty years (or longer for many), I still recall them visually at their younger age. That makes those Facebook photos seem odd, every time.
Not me, not my photo, of course. But, then, I’ve always only found bits and pieces of family genetics in my physical features, as if I never was a full-fledged member of that family that raised me.
I do see family traits in my sister, not of our mom but of an aunt, a sister of our father. I also see our father in my brothers. No doubt there. In me, perhaps going back a generation or two will reveal more likenesses.
The real tell is putting my photo next to my daughter’s image. Over the years, people have often spoken of our strong resemblance; at times we were considered sisters. Not so much now that I’m headed for the senior citizen status, though I can still see “me” in all of her photos – the “me” of a much younger age. I guess that means I hope she doesn’t mind looking like me once she reaches her sixtieth birthday.
And then I found a recent photo of the first boy I ever dated in high school. My shock at the realization was softened by having seen parental images in other old friends, but I was still stunned to find his father. This recent image is a spitting image of the man standing in the doorway when the boyfriend and I arrived at two AM, attempting to explain how we’d gotten lost looking for a party at an apartment complex. It was a party the boy’s parents had invited us to attend after our school event, a dance. We really did get lost but, yeah, I know, who’s going to believe that one? I was there, and even I find it doubtful.
But there he is, the father – or the son, now the father. Wow. Transformed.
green-eyed wolf stands firm
father’s white-gray mask now his
tribal link complete