Connection: 1) the joining together of two or more people, things, or parts. 2) something that links two or more things (Encarta).
I like to feel connected. Apparently. I used to have this – for lack of a better word – game I played with my mom. I never really knew any of my grandparents so I’d have her tell me stories about them. Mainly my grandmas. I wanted to know who I looked like, who I acted like, what traits I inherited, and blah blah blah.
Looking back, I wonder if my need for feeling connected stemmed from my name. I got an original, cool name while the rest of my siblings were saddled with traditional family names. Maybe not receiving an heirloom moniker wreaked havoc with my subconscious to the point that I felt disconnected from my family unit. Or… maybe I was just an odd kid with a weird sense of games. Hmm, let’s not delve into the psychology any further on this.
Long story short, I like to feel connected to my family. Unfortunately, I’m searching for that connection with my immediate family. I don’t really look like any of them. They all have the beautiful oval, longer faces. My face is round and tiny.
At one time, my brother and I looked alike. The similarity lied in the spectacles. We each happened to choose the same frames. I teased him about his choice of feminine eyeglasses (they were actually androgynous but I had my little sister duties of teasing mercilessly to perform and I am not a slacker). But no, I don’t look like anyone.
My sister tried throwing me a bone once. “You have dad’s smile,” she said.
I smiled. Dad’s smile? That’s pretty cool.
Mom was standing nearby. “No she doesn’t,” she said.
Well, that was short lived.
When we went to family reunions on my dad’s side of the family everyone commented how much my sister looked like our aunt. And when we went to mom’s side of the family, my sister looked mom’s mom. Oh, come on people! She can’t look like both sides of the family.
At my mom’s funeral I was hoping someone would say to me, “You look like your mom.” Instead, I got, “And who are you, again?”
I even fished for connections once. “I think I look like mom,” I said.
“No you don’t,” my brother replied. Bad form. That is not how you play the game.
I felt so disconnected. So alone. A lone Lee Island apart from the Lee mainland.
Until the other night when the family gathered for dinner. After dinner we watched a couple of home videos. Mom was in one but young – probably younger than I am now.
“That’s you!” my two year old grandnephew said pointing to the screen. Another shot of mom came on. “That’s you, huh?” he said.
A two year old made my day. I ignored the fact the first shot of mom was in a Halloween getup (I assume and hope) and dressed as a man – with painted on stubble. That’s not important. The take-away from this story is the fact that yes, I am connected. A two year old says so. At least someone knows how to play the game.