Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Mom ~ The Original "Benjamin Button"

Last weekend my brother and I were going through a bunch of old family pictures...and laughing until our sides hurt!  We can laugh at my mom, because if she was here she would be joining right in with the laughter.  For sure.  I mean, how could you not??!!  And as we looked through all the high school pictures and wedding pictures, my brother made the startling discovery that our mother was the original Benjamin Button.  You know, the guy who aged backwards...started as an old man and grew more youthful?  Yep...the pictures speak for themselves:  here's the proof:

approximately age 17.  bless her heart.

I'm guessing this is about 1974 ~ a couple years after surgery??

her early 40's, in Hawaii ~ rocking a pink gingham bikini under that mu mu!

Yep, moving in the youthful direction!

But then...

Back to the glory years.  This is exactly what my brother would look like if he dressed in drag.

Now, Brenna was born 2 1/2 years after my mom died.  After they took her from me and laid her in the little baby warmer, she was turned with her profile to me.  My friend, Debbie, said to me, "Oh, Leanne, look at her!  Look who she looks like!"  I was stunned to see how much this little baby girl looked just like my mother.  Most of my mom's last year we watched her lying in a bed, and much of that was her sleeping.  I spent countless hours just watching my mom's profile as she slept.  As you can gather from these pictures, my mom held a pretty strong profile!  Brad and I both stared at this brand new baby girl, and then I had to look was just so overwhelming to see my mom's face in my newborn daughter.  Emotions were running thick and heavy in that room.  And that was the same reaction from everyone that knew my mom.  A sweet gift in so many ways.

As Brenna has grown (Brenna Kay, appropriately), she has held that name and likeness well.  She has so many endearing characteristics of my mom.  She has her sweetness, her gentleness, her...slowness to get a joke, she even throws a ball just like my mom did.

And if you know my Brenna, you will recognize the likeness in these pictures of my mom:

If I could stage a picture like this with Brenna, I bet you would see the twin-ness of these two!

the long, lanky legs with a bony knee?  check.

and, strangely enough...there is a striking amount of Beth in this picture.  I guess those Bryan genes run strong.

So there you have it.  She went from a beautiful child, to an...interesting stage, and back to beautiful again.  I'm going to keep these pictures in my mind during these next few years.  As we pay for orthodontic treatment, teach the use of contact lenses (if that becomes necessary),and keep in close touch with a great hair stylist, it will all be done in the hopes that Brenna never has a picture like the one at the top for her children to discover.


  1. Oh Leanne! I loved her so! We were such soulmates....exchanging thoughts, rearing our kids, tears, laughter, scripture...a dearer friend than I have ever had! And to top it off, a sister in law who felt more like a sister! Thank you, thank you for posting this precious letter with pictures of your wonderful mom, my dearest friend!

  2. oh my gosh Leanne, she does look so much like your mom, have you told me that before? I looked at that last picture even before I read what you wrote I said out loud, "that is BRENNA!" Isn't that precious that the Lord gave you one that looks like your Momma? He does give good gifts.