All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
So goes Algernon's memorable line from Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance Of Being Earnest'. Although Wilde was not writing of a physical resemblance, that is what I took from it when I first heard the lines, and I heard the quote long before I heard the play.
I'd been told for years that I looked like my mother and in my extreme youth this did not please me. After all, I was as lovely as the bright new morn and she was a wrinkled hag. She would have been in her early forties then.
As I grew older I learned to appreciate the compliment for Matty was winsome enough as a lass and I had no doubt I was being compared to the younger version. But as I grew older, and ever so slightly wiser, I realised we did look alike. It showed in age. The first time we were taken as sisters was devastating. She was 28 bloody years older than I was!
This coming April Matty will be gone three years. And Daddy is nine years gone in June. I feel different now, far more aware of my own mortality and the ageing process. I look at my darling grandchildren and know that I'll never see them begin to age unless I become a centenarian. Perhaps I'll live long enough to become a great-grandmother. That would be a wonderful bonus.
My mother was a generous, caring and kind woman and it showed on her face. People liked her, she liked people. Children really liked her. She really liked children.
Now when I look in the mirror and I see her face and it unnerves me. But you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to try and be a kinder person and I'm going to accept the ageing process and every time I feel like I'm becoming a wrinkled old hag I'll grin from ear to ear because that makes the wrinkles all friendly and jolly and kind instead of miserable and grim. Sure I might as well!