Some time ago there was a short-lived TV series starring the Smothers Brothers in which Tommy came back to earth after he’d passed on. He surprised Dick by popping up here and there in different roles, but what I remember aside from the humor was the theme song. I could sing it for you. Not that’d you’d want me to.
“Tonight you’ll meet two brothers who just happen to be us, though Tom is slightly different — the problem we will now discuss…” He went on to clue in the audience that his brother would be seeing “a lot of different people who look a lot like me.”
Every time we’re at a family get-together, I am amazed at the resemblances. To grandparents. To aunts and uncles. To cousins. Dominant and recessive genes run rampant among us. Square jaws and hairlines of the boys can be traced along branches of the family tree to great-uncles, while thick hair of the girls is like their mothers’ and aunts’ in photos of the ’40s.
Once on a visit I was talking with a relative, caught his eyes and thought, “His mother is looking at me!” I read in one of my grandmother’s letters that someone had commented she looked sad when she really wasn’t. I’ve had that said to me, too.
Finding the same thing so funny we can’t talk sometimes afflicts members of three generations on my mother’s side. I imagine onlookers shake their heads. I don’t know. I’m so bent over laughing I can’t open my eyes.
On the other side of the family it happens all over again. Mannerisms of our daughter remind me of a cousin I went to school with. A recent picture of another cousin looks a lot like our grandfather. When I found for the first time a turn-of-the century photograph of a great-grandmother, I could have sworn it was my youngest sister at the same age.
Most importantly, though, family is never qualified by the blood in our veins, but by the love in our hearts.
Cherish yours this Christmas.