In most families, the siblings tend to look at least a little bit alike, but sometimes, two or more of the siblings really look alike, and they aren’t even twins. It isn’t that they look exactly alike all the time, but sometimes you see a picture of them or the have a certain look on their face, that reminds you so much of one of their siblings that you are sure it could be the sibling and not the person. That is the case with my Aunt Bonnie McDaniels, my Aunt Evelyn Hushman, and my mom, Collene Spencer. Of course, every time I saw a look on the face of one of them that so closely resembled the others, I didn’t manage to get the picture. Nevertheless, I think that if you look closely, you can tell that these three sisters looked a lot alike.
I have noticed a resemblance to these three and their mother, my grandma, Hattie Byer too. I think they took after her, much more than they did, their dad, my grandpa, George Byer…other than in the area of height. Grandma was very short, only five foot, in her tall days, while Grandpa was over six feet tall. The girls fell in around five foot six or so. Some of the kids did look more like Grandpa, but these three girls more like their mom. I always loved to see them all three together, because then you could really get to see the looks they would get that were the same, or hear their laughter, which was quite similar too. It was just a fun thing to see, and something I miss very much now.
With Aunt Evelyn and my mom living in Heaven now, Aunt Bonnie is the last of the sister look alikes. The bad thing about that is how much we miss the other two, but the good things is that when you see Aunt Bonnie, there is a good possibility that you will see a look, a smile, or hear a laugh that sounds just like Aunt Evelyn and Mom. It makes them feel a little closer. Today is Aunt Bonnie’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Bonnie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Sometimes, there is such a clear family resemblance that even years after the children are grown, people who knew one of them can tell that another one is a sister. That happened to me when a church camp friend of my sisters, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock, saw me in the mall and asked me if I was their sister. I did not know this man, but he knew them and knew that I bore a definite resemblance to them. I don’t know exactly how often that happens, but my guess is that it maybe happens more than we are aware of. I think many times, people don’t say anything about it. Maybe they are not sure the person is who they think they are, or maybe they aren’t sure the person will remember them. That is sad really, because you never know when you might just make someone’s day, because you remembered them.
My family has been blessed with some beautiful people. From aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews, as well as grandchildren, they are handsome, and beautiful inside and out. I think that is part of what makes them someone people remember. This was pointed out to my Aunt Sandy Pattan a while back, when she was at Kmart. They were having a Blue Light Special, and she was waiting in line while her things were marked down. Two ladies on the other side of the Blue Light were talking, and obviously looking at my Aunt Sandy. She started to become a little nervous, wondering what was wrong with the way she looked. We always think the worst, don’t we? Once the ladies had finished getting their things marked, they came over to Aunt Sandy, and one of them asked, “Are you one of the Byer girls?” Aunt Sandy said that she was, and the woman said to her friend, “See!! I told you so!!” Aunt Sandy was as surprised as I had been with my encounter, but I think she was right when she said that it isn’t just a person’s looks that makes them memorable, but rather who they are inside. Like my own parents, my grandparents had taught their children to be kind, generous, and thoughtful, and these traits are always remembered, and they make you remember their face too, even if it has changed some over the years.
Sometimes, you can see a person who may or may not be related to someone you liked, but looks like them anyway. Whether you ever find out if that person is a relative or not, you still have that nice memory of that person you knew. Of course, family resemblances are always there, but are not always remembered, unless the person stood out in some way. The memory goes a long way if the person was nice to you at some point. Really, who would want to remember someone who was mean, although I suppose that happens too, but I would much rather remember those people who were kind and thoughtful…wouldn’t you?
I was at the hospital yesterday, bringing my father-in-law, who had been in the hospital for surgery, home. A nurse on the floor, who was not his nurse, and so didn’t know his last name, came in to see if the transport team member needed any assistance. When he said he didn’t, she looked at me and said, “You’re Amy’s mom aren’t you?” I laughed and said, “Yes, I am.” She told me that she had gone to school with Amy and asked me to tell her hello.
As I was leaving the hospital, I thought back to the first time someone had asked me that question. Amy was in Kindergarten and I was volunteering at the school, doing throat cultures to check for Strep Throat. As I walked into the nurses office to get my supplies ready, I saw two little girls sitting on the bed. One of them had apparently scraped her knee, and the other one was there for moral support. The little girl who was there with her hurt friend, said, “Are you Amy’s mom?” When I said that I was, the hurt little girl said, “Amy who?” The first girl said, “You know!!! Amy Sugarberry!!” That encounter put a smile on my face the rest of the day.
I have been told many times that Amy looks like me, although that is not alwyas something I can see. It must be so, however, because in recent months, I have had several people who know that I am Amy’s mom, tell me that I really look like her. Still it is surprising to have someone who doesn’t know me as Amy’s mom already, be able to just pull her name out of the hat when they see me. It really brings to light that we look very much alike.
I have always known that I bear a strong family resemblance, because I have had people recognize me as being my sisters’ sister many years after the graduated from high school, and ask me if I am my dad’s daughter, when it has been years since they have seen him. I guess with that said, I should not be surprised when they can see a strong resemblance between my daughter and me. Nevertheless, I find myself still amazed that even after all these years, I am still known as Amy’s mom!