Has this happened to you?
Sometimes I'll see a woman in the grocery store whose hairdo and comportment are so reminiscent of my mother that I'll indulge in a moment of make-believe. I'll just hesitate for a spell and pretend that my mother is standing a few paces away from me, even though I'm well aware that she died in 2003. It's a serendipitous little mind game that's uniquely enjoyable.
I almost never get the same self-deceptive treat with a father lookalike, for some reason. Somehow, strangers don't tend to look like my father, who died in 2001.
But I'll tell you who does: my brothers. They resemble him dramatically. (I really need to find a photo of the group of them. Trust me—you would agree.)
So tonight, when my brother Doug was visiting from Brooklyn and I got to see him, it was a treat on several levels. I loved spending time with him and his daughter. I loved catching up and having some good laughs. But also, I loved seeing my father so very clearly in Doug.
I can't put my finger on it. It's not logical. It's not supernatural. But it's a very real emotional response, and I'm glad I have it.
It was nice to see you tonight, Daddy.