Wednesday, July 22, 2015


My senior year of high school,  a friend of mine was killed in a car wreck, along with his girlfriend Melissa, and his best friend's girlfriend.  (The best friend survived with serious injuries, but that is neither here nor there.)

Some months after the wreck--which happened in September--I came out of Journalism class and saw a ghost.  Melissa, coming out of the Art classroom across the hall.

Naturally, I knew it *wasn't* Melissa.  It was her little sister, whose name I don't recall.  They looked almost exactly alike, and I remembered thinking how difficult it must be for everyone involved to have a surviving child who looked just like the tragically lost one.  (Not in the least for the girl herself, who was probably upset by reactions like mine, which were undoubtedly frequent at that school.)

Now I find myself in a similar position.

I joke all the time that all my kids look alike.  This is because they really do; they all look like me.  (And all of my dad's family look alike.)

Before Psalm, Marie was my only dark-haired baby.  Which is weird given I have dark hair, but it's just the way the genes worked out.  You can kind of tell in that picture who is who, because Psalm's color just was never good, but they still look incredibly alike.

Another thing is that all my kids are pretty hairy, but again since most of them are light-haired, it's nearly impossible to tell.  Marie and Psalm are the only ones with dark enough hair for their back fuzz to be visible.

They really both had a lot of hair even at birth.  I think Psalm had even more than Marie; it was long enough it was starting to curl.

Of course, there is a slightly different dynamic in play when the surviving sibling is the older one.  I have no way of knowing, for instance, whether Psalm would have had brown eyes like Marie, or blue ones like her father, brother, & sisters.  And of course we could never know her personality, though the way she survived so long in utero makes me think she would have been another firecracker had she not had LBWC.

But still.  I have this little girl who lives in my mind, and my mind makes her look like Marie did, because who else would she look like?  So with Marie, she is a reminder sometimes that there should be a second dark-haired girl in my family.  Someone else for her to fight and play with.

And that makes me sad.

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