This morning, as I walk round and round the drive way, I recall Daddy.
In his last few years, he also walked round and round, not on the drive way but on the sidewalk in front of the old house on Dana Drive.
With cardiomyopathy, he tired easily, and often stopped to rest. I inherited Daddy's heart; in old age, I too have developed cardiomyopathy caused by a thickening muscle on the left side of my heart.
I don't mind walking further afield with my husband, but alone, I'm wary of getting too tired and dizzy and stay close to the house. I walk at a moderate pace round and round my own drive way, stopping often, if not to rest, to write.
The habit of taking notes and recording random thoughts and observations is another characteristic I inherited from Daddy. He never went anywhere without his notebook and pencil. I too am a compulsive note taker and never go anywhere without my little moleskin notebook and (preferably purple) pen in hand or purse.
Unfortunately, I didn't inherit Mother's strong heart; I got her face instead. Sometimes, I feel a familiar tight lipped sensation fall across my mouth and instantly, without even looking in the mirror, I sense my own face turning into my mother's.
As I get older, I realize how like both of my parents I really am. When I was young (and dumb), I would have been horrified at the thought. Now, I welcome and even delight in that knowledge. My parents were, like everyone else, flawed humans but I loved them and there's no one else I'd sooner be like than either one of them.
Truth is, we inherit the whole enchilada from our ancestors, not only their glorious achievements, but their failures and weaknesses too. We're all complex, yin and yang, sinner and saint, shadow and light. In short, we're only human and regrettably, at times, some of us are barely even that.