Saturday, August 4, 2007

I see her face in my face

An unflattering picture of me, most of them are, must be my funny face ( sadly not like Audrey's funnyface). But I like this one anyway. For some reason I see my Austrian grandmother's face in mine. She is my only grandparent who is still alive. She turns 89 this year. I have a large nose, and she has a little one, probably why I never saw her in my face before. It must be the angle, or the smile, or the amount of cheek. I like seeing her face in mine. I am surprised by just how much.
She has been known, in the past, for being strict (also strict catholic). The story of her chasing my mother (who was on a bike she wished not be on or riding), when she was a child, down the street with a wooden spoon, as incentive for her to learn how to ride the bike, she had to keep going and pedaling faster to avoid the spoon; is quintessential. In more recent times she is known more for her spunk and her spirit.

I am glad in recent years, we are getting to know each other better. Her husband, my grandfather died a couple of years ago, and I really didn't know him. Tall, northern Italian, quiet. Really all I know.

My other grandparents, my nana, and pop, I spent a lot of time with from the beginning.
My left shoulder is speckled with freckles (not so the right one. Odd, don't they go everywhere together?), they look just like the ones that my pop (German) had on his shoulders. So every summer I am happy to find myself breaking out in them, like carrying part of him, with me, in my skin.
On the other hand, I think he is partly responsible for this nose on my face (my other grandfather plays a part too), and I would love to love my nose, as I did him, and his face, and his nose, I however can not!

My English grandmother, had pale skin, reddish brown hair, and freckles. Not just cute little freckles but splotches and dots too, all over her face. How she complained, how she hated them. I do tan, and am not so prone to splotches, but in the summer on the top of my left check, there is a splattering of darker color, a network of dots and little splotches. When I see them I think of her, when I look at them on my face, I see her face. And I smile.

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