Friday, August 14, 2009

Look Alike Links

The greatest thing I ever did in my life, and I’ve done some great things for a small town girl, is to give birth and raise two children. The hardest thing I’ve ever done or will ever survive is being the mother to children. The latter is because I never expected to feel the depths of emotions, from joy to despair, as I watch my daughters navigate life. This, however, is the topic of another blog. Today I’m going to share how cool it is to have human beings on the planet that resemble me in looks and personality.

I got the idea for this post when a friend was over and looking at photographs of me when I was a toddler. She was amazed at how much my seven-year-old grandson looks like me.
Lisa around age 5

Grandson Aiden at age 5
Her comment made me recall how often I was told how much my daughters, Erin and Adrian, look like me. For a time I assumed it was just people being nice but when I heard it over and over I began to really believe it.

Lisa with her girls

For me, it was more than just flattery. I never knew my own mother, had no one to compare myself to, although I was told time and time again how much I looked like her. So to have my girls look like me gave me some comfort in the knowledge that I carried a little of my long-dead Mom with me.

My mom, Patricia Oberlander Gioia as a young girl

I hoped that my daughters would feel the same way.

My youngest, Adrian is a real jokester. As a teenager whenever someone told her she looked like me she would respond with, “I was adopted and my ‘Mom’ made me get plastic surgery to look like her.” Ha ha, funny kid.

Adrian holding her son, Aiden

And me with the same goofy smile and glasses
I have spent many years of my life researching my family history, documenting the lives of ancestors to get a sense of who they were, where they came from and how they conducted their lives. Doing so has given me a sense of the continuity and belonging that long eluded me. Having the tangible evidence of a paper trail such as documents and photographs is wonderful.

Another method of feeling a connection, I have finally discovered, is by looking in the mirror.


miruspeg said...

Great post Lisa.
I enjoyed viewing the different photos and reading your commentary. How blessed you are to have such a lovely family.

That is a beautiful photo of your mother as a young girl.

Thanks again for sharing your story and photos and YOUR wisdom.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I think it is built into us to want to have roots and a sense of family. Where families are dysfunctional or nigh onto non-existent, there is societal dysfunction, as well. We were meant to be family-centered. And, yes, your kin do look alike!

The Machinist's Wife said...

I enjoy your contemplations so much! You have a wonderful tender heart, Lisa. I'm sure your daughters will cherish all that you are.

Anonymous said...

The family resemblance is striking. The facial similarities are so close in some family photos, it is hard to tell mother from daughter.

As for the photo of your mother at a young age, the family connection is very apparent.

With each new child, history in the making!