I called up one of my mom’s friends last week. We chatted briefly, and she ended our conversation with the exclamation “you are just like your mother!”
I have heard this a lot in my adult life, and never more often than during Mom’s illness and after her passing. But it wasn’t always so; as a chubby, shy child, people percieved (and I understood) us to be very different. So even long after I shed the baby fat and became better skilled at interacting with my peers, part of me feels like shouting “Me and Mom, ALIKE?! Haven’t you noticed that I’m shorterfatterlessattractivelessgnerousmoreselfishmoresociallyakwardmorelazy?”
Its embarrasingly small- minded to play the comparison game with your own mother. But I did. And I never felt I measured up.
These days, I’m noticing not the ways that we are different (and the ways I harshly judged myself to be inferior to her), but the ways that we are alike. I miss her so terribly, and there is nothing that reminds me more of her than, well, me. Small things, like the way I rest my hand on a table. My fingers themselves. When I ran my fingers through my hair yesterday, I swear I could feel those silver curls of hers- her last real hairstyle before it fell out the final time.
Since her death, I have felt her energy for trying new things and accomplishing my dreams. And I have felt her energy to give, to be of purpose, to make a difference. Did she pass along some of her goodness and wisdom as she crossed over, or am I simply paying more attention to what was there all along?