Before Alzheimer's, my grandma would meet someone for the first time and, inevitably, look to a third party in the room and (while gesturing toward the person whom she'd just met) say: "Now, doesn't (s)he just remind you so much of ___?" If I were the third party, I'll be honest: I almost never saw it...oftentimes because the person my grandma had just met didn't look like the other as I knew him or her. My grandma was remembering a younger version and could more easily see a resemblance.
Have I told you I'm turning into my grandma? I think it must be stranger for my mom, even, than for me, but I'm not gonna lie: it's pretty strange for me...especially because I didn't see a lot of it coming.
Last evening, I was sitting in the church fellowship hall, and durn if I didn't look up and see a boy I used to know and love like a brother. It took my breath until I remembered that my boy (whom I haven't seen, probably, since he outgrew his teens) is at least thirty-five.
Now, as I get older, most everyone reminds me of someone else, but never anything like this. I could hardly look away. From every angle, this boy looked identical to the one I knew. Finally, I couldn't take it, anymore. I retrieved my cell phone from the van, sidled up to this young man, and asked if I could take his photo.
He was so sweet about it, and to be so near him didn't change a thing; in fact, it only messed with my head more. Even from less than a foot away, he looked exactly like the boy I knew.
I felt desperate to prove it. The boy I knew was one of my brother's best friends, so I planned to send the photo to my brother. Unfortunately, my phone died just as I went to use its camera, so I walked away and left the young man alone...
...when what I really wanted to do was throw my arms around him; squeeze him just as tightly as I could; and beg him to choose his friends wisely, exercise caution around guns, and avoid every sort of illegal substance. What I really wanted to do was cry and pray over him.
Thank goodness, I managed to control my creep factor just a little. (She insists, knowing she fell asleep praying for a boy who looks identical to one she used to know and love like a brother.)