Daily Archives: May 16, 2011

The Family Face

I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
Over oblivion.
Thomas Hardy, 1840 – 1928 English novelist and poet.

Today I read a post entitled Father in Me from Duke1959 and it reminded me of this poem by Thomas Hardy.  Look around your family and you will quickly agree that there is a family face.

My sister’s son is 28 days older than mine.  Growing up they could easily have been brothers so alike were they.  And then when my sister and I were visiting an aunt (only a year or two older than us) we saw a photo of her son.  He looked so like David my son, and Tom, my sister’s son. And then to further compound this, we visited a cousin and again the face stared at us out of a photograph of her son.

So while we all evolve and get mixed up with the genes from the other side of the family, there is so often a remarkable likeness among various members of the clan.

My father’s siblings with the exception of 2 of the 11, inherited the red hair and blue eyes.  These features passed by our part of the family.  I had reddish-brown hair but brown eyes.  My other sisters had blue eyes.

Cate and David c 1964

My children inherited the big brown eyes from me, my daughter’s fair hair from her father while my son has my dark hair.  His eldest son definitely has the family face.

James and David

My son, while looking like his cousins inherited his father’s strong mouth and firm chin.

So where am I going with this?  I don’t really know.  I just started to think about it after reading Duke’s post.

And of course, most mornings I look into the bathroom mirror and see my mother looking back at me.

Mother and me 1995

With Mother shortly before she died

And the second stanza of Thomas Hardy’s poem is

The years-heired feature that can
In curve and voice and eye
Despise the human span
Of durance — that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die .

So thanks to Duke for the inspiration.  By the way, I loved your post friend.

 

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