Girl Talk: Mirroring our Mothers

Me and Momma….in Destin, before we all grew up.

“Thanks, Momma”, I say as I’m looking a my leg and noticing the “age spots” I have coming up near my ankle. That’s my favorite line. As if all the things that happen to me as I get older are because it happened to Momma. I looked in the mirror one morning, and I saw Momma’s face looking back at me. When did that happen? All of us girls talk about it. Especially as we start to age, we start to look more and more like the woman who gave birth to us. It’s genetics, I guess.

Raw material for us kids….Look at their jawlines and faces, and you can see them both in all of us.

Looking at your Mom gives you a glimpse at what you will look like 20 or so down years down the road. Momma talks about feeling and thinking the same things about her Mother. It just has to do with the aging process and the fact that we are cut from the same cloth. There will be differences, for sure. The way you take care of yourself, what you eat, your habits all influence the way you age. But, the input is at least 1/2 the same. There’s a Daddy in there somewhere that inputs some genetic material. I just don’t see him as easily.

Susan has that lovely heart shaped face I so wanted growing up.

I have Daddy’s jawbone for sure. That helps a bit in the whole aging thing. Bone structure helps hold up all that sinking skin and makes it look a little plumper. When I look at pictures of our family, my brother Sammy and I have the same bone structure in our faces. My younger brother Terry and my sister Susan have Momma’s face shape. The eldest three in my family have Daddy’s hair. It’s coarse, thick, and curly. Of course, Sammy has some of Momma’s family’s receding hairline, so he’s losing it a bit. My younger brother Terry was practically bald by the time he was 25. He had Momma’s red, baby-fine hair. It just didn’t have the same staying power.

I remember when Momma was about 50. It was the first time I started noticing the aging process at work on her face. I was jolted into reality that life doesn’t go on forever, and we don’t grow old without showing traces of aging. 50 is not old mind you. I feel better right now than I have ever felt in my life. In fact, at 51, I feel like I could do anything, and I have tapped into more of my being and who I am than EVER before. As far as I’m concerned, it has been the best time of my life. I’m clicking on all cylinders. But, I’m noticing the lines on my face increase much more quickly and much more deeply than ever before. I have to color my hair religiously and not just because I want a change in hair color. My periods have ceased for the most part, I’m seeing some age spots, and my body is starting to give way to gravity. It’s natural, but, oh how I would love to stop it, to find that magic pill that keeps me looking young and supple forever.

Momma, right before Aunt Shirley’s wake! Love the attitude.

I really empathize for those women (and men) who have lost their parents. There’s a whole lot of reasons why that’s a huge loss, but I think losing a parent is like losing a guide. Both of my husbands lost their fathers as very young children. They both talked about the fact that they never had a male role model in being a young man, father, husband or in the aging process. It’s such a huge gap when you don’t have somebody to watch go through those stages that you have to pass through. There’s nobody to tell you what to expect. I ask Momma all the time, “Did this happen to you?”, “What did you do?”, “How did you deal with it.”

This is all of us. It’s not often that all four of us are together. You can see the resemblances in each other and our parents.

I took this fabulous picture of Momma when I was home for her sister Shirley’s funeral. She’s full of life and color. That’s the way she dresses. She’s healthy, she takes care of herself. She’s happy. She has fun with her life. She is a role model for me. She always exercised, tried to eat as healthy as she could and had a good spiritual connection that fed her. It’s all important in keep thing those bright eyes alive and shining. And, I’ve learned that though the body may age and may not age gracefully, the eyes really are the window to the soul. They are that ageless beacon that lets you see the spirit inside someone at any age. Momma’s eyes have never changed. Well, maybe they’ve gotten wiser and stronger. I look forward to seeing my same eyes year after year after year. “Thanks, Momma.”

6 thoughts on “Girl Talk: Mirroring our Mothers

  1. Women age like their mothers. It is usually a surprise. The first half of life, I looked like my Dad. Now well into the 2nd half of life, I look more & more like my mom. But, for some reason, I have always loved the fat visible veins in my hands, I remember them from my maternal grandmother & from my mom. My hands remind me daily of my connection and deep love for them. Loved your post. Thanks for the reminder!

    • You are so right! Loved that you related to this, and I was so excited that you were moved to show me your hands this morning. God really outdid himself when he created genetics. So cool to see parts of ourselves in family and they in us.

  2. Thanks for sharing so many family photos! Very nice!

    Your sister really looks a lot like your mom. Especially your mom’s wedding photo. : )


    • Doesn’t she, though? Momma was 17 when they got married. Really, she was just a child. I love old pictures. It’s hard to imagine that they are real moments. They look more like an artist’s rendition of a past event.

  3. Sharon, I think you are so aware and sensitive! I don’t know if life after death is real, but I fully believe that our parents and ancestors live on in each of us and in each new generation. And not just physically,but in mental, emotional and spiritual ways too! Thanks for sharing! Stephan

    • Wow, what a nice thought that our ancestors live through us. I love that. I certainly don’t think it’s just a coincidence that I was offered my Grandfathers bedroom furniture at the same time I bought a house surrounded by Azaleas (his favorite). I feel his presence all the time.

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