Monday, November 24, 2008

Rearranging the Puzzle

My husband is a talented mimic. He has a knack for picking out those subtle details that set us apart from one another: the way you hold your mouth, your habitually tapping fingers, your uniquely bouncing eyebrows, etc. Not only can he imitate people physically, he finds phrases and themes that a person tends to frequent. It is endlessly entertaining to watch his performances and to recognize the clues he is giving.

My father-in-law is sick. It is not life-threatening, but it may turn out to be life changing. I love that man--he has always been good to me. He is getting older (69), but has always been spry and active so I never noticed his age. (There is one major exception. My husband recently stayed several days with his folks. Their age reveled itself when he witnessed them watching the Weather Channel . . .not checking the weather, but watching the forecast say the same thing, in different clothes, 24 hours a day.) When Dad's sickness fell upon him suddenly, his mortality also became suddenly real.

There is a silver lining to this cloud; my husband can imitate his father to a T. Of course it is not the same, but it is a reminder; a memory. After years mimicking, my husband is turning into his dad. And, now, our son has begun to travel down the impersonations road, too.

I got to wondering about genetic inheritance. My dark hair is from my dad, my smile came from my mother. Physical traits can be seen, in some circumstances, many generations back. But, there are other things that are inherited. I make egg noodles the same way my Great-great Grandmother Charlotte did (and she probably learned it from her mother). I bake my turkey in an oiled paper bag the way my Great Grandmother Helen taught my newly-wed mother.
Maybe I inherited my optimism, my inability to catch a ball, my love for Heavenly Father. Some people can naturally get to the bottom of a complicated matter, others see through a facade to understand another's need. While I believe we all come with our own personality(no parent of multiple children can question that), how much of our person is just a mix of who came before?

What did you inherit and what will you pass on?

1 comment:

  1. I dread this thought...because I am really not sure- but maybe just being faithful and enduring well...My mom was the best example of this- none of us inherited my Mom's artistic abilities or we can't even compare to her domestic talents (I don't understand sewing patterns for the life of me) but we all seem to have my Dad's temper...hmmmmm

    and what is it with old people and the weather? Old people love the weather- they just do. It is like so fun for them to talk about.