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SPT 1/10

liz lamoreux

(photo on the left is my mother, circa 1949; photo on right is me, circa 1979)

When I was younger, my relatives and the friends of my parents used to always say, "you look just like your father." I have his eyes, his hair, his coloring. I was quite proud of this. I wanted to be just like him and would sometimes even try to wear his huge size 12 shoes around the house. I identified with him. He was larger than life in my world. In many ways, when I was a child he was my world. When my brother was born, he looked like my mother. It was easy for us to pair off when we did things as a family. Like went with like.

When my parents divorced, the image that I had created of my father was shattered. I didn't want to be like him at all. I was jealous of the relationship my brother had with my mother. I felt alone. I looked like him; I didn't want to be like him.

About six years ago, I came across this picture of my mother and thought it was me. I could see myself in her face, in her cheeks, in her big intake of breath as she smelled the flowers before her. A slight pose for the camera, just like I would have done. A simple photograph reminded me that I am not alone in my family. I am a reflection of my mother too.

I now know I want to be my own person. I want to just look like me. But I cannot let go of the reality that I am like her. There are moments that are difficult and full of misunderstandings and accusations and sadness. Maybe in the future though, we can meet in a place where we take a deep breath, smell the flowers, and see the way that we reflect each other.

see and link to other SPT participants here