Saturday, February 5, 2011

Seeing my mother’s face in mine

When I began to get “older” I was occasionally alarmed to catch sight of my mother’s face looking back at me from the mirror, or her hands resting in my lap — or, worse yet, my grandmother’s face or hands. I saw these resemblances only as a sign that I was aging. But as of this year, I am the eldest person in my immediate family, and suddenly I kind of like the idea that I look and sound like the women who came before me. It is as though I am carrying around a special key that only I am able to use to unlock the past – and I do it so easily: with a facial expression, a way of saying something, or a laugh. The family resemblance has turned from something I resented into a precious heirloom.

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