As I grow older, occasionally some person even older than I will tell me I remind them of my mother. On the other hand my sisters are convinced that I look exactly like our paternal aunt whose very name had a jolly sound. For purposes of anonymity I will refer to her by another name that has a similar quality. I will call her Aunt Emilina Cheer, the “Cheer” being her happy-sounding last name.
When I look in the mirror, I can sometimes see why people think I look like my mother but I am far happier on the days I can more easily see why my sisters think I look like Aunt Emilina. That’s because my mother, while very beautiful in her youth, was dogged by health problems all her life. She passed away at only 59 with severely gnarled joins from arthritis, hair loss and obesity (probably due to thyroid disorder) and almost no teeth in her head. Aunt Emilina on the other hand won a beauty contest for senior citizens when she was in her late seventies. Of course Aunt Emilina was not really a beauty; she was just so pleasant looking that everyone found her beautiful in spite of her rotund figure, graying hair, stout practical shoes and clicking false teeth.
As for character—I could not find fault if mine resembled that of either of these two forebears. My mother was honest to a fault, practical, pragmatic, sensible, decent and God fearing. Aunt Emalina was honest to a fault, generous, charismatic, decent and God fearing and also was a highly reactive emotional woman. I too am emotional so I already landed that questionable quality but all the other tributes of my aunt and my mother are laudable ones I can’t claim to have a lock on. What I do have is a good memory of some remarkable people; and though I am now an old woman myself, I am still trying to pattern myself after the best in both of them.