I’ve always disliked my nose. It’s big, it’s got a bump, and it’s the perfect candidate for a nose job that would probably make me feel better but not really make me look better. My friends are always telling me, “Your nose is great, it gives you personality” …Ok then, you take it.
I thought about getting a nose job a lot when I was younger. The pressures of being a teenager were getting me down and I wanted to have a normal profile, something small and straight, instead of protruding and crooked. My nose is so crooked that depending on the angle I have a totally different profile. If I take a picture facing the left it looks like the nose I would want. Still bigger than the norm but straight and narrow. If I turn to the right it’s a total witch nose, no Halloween costume needed!
The truth is, I have an exact replica of my dad’s nose. It’s great on a man but not so much on a scrawny 15 year old girl who just happened to move to Miami (the land of really hot girls at really inappropriate ages), at an age when your insecurity taunts you every time you look in the mirror.
Not only was I insecure about my nose but I had braces and hair that humidity didn’t take kindly to. I did my best to wear makeup and straighten my hair with every possible balm and anti-frizz serum on the market and of course I spoke with my dad so, so many times about getting my nose fixed. I cried, I pouted and kicked, but luckily he didn’t budge.
Fast forward to present day and I’m so very happy I didn’t get a nose job. I still complain about it to my husband. Sometimes it shocks me when I catch my reflection in the subway train window, but this nose that I couldn’t stand all those years ago has now become precious to me because I see my father when I look at myself in the mirror.
In a way, I get to have him with me always. Having his nose makes me feel so lucky, and when I have kids, they will hopefully inherit it, and they’ll think it’s too big, but I’ll tell them stories of the beautiful, kind and magnetic man who gave them that nose, and they’ll see the photographs of his face and see his nose and know they have a part of him too.
I look at my siblings, and at my niece (who’s actually 18 months older than me, my mom had me when she was 41), and I see my parents in their expressions, in their gestures, I hear them in their laughs, and can see them in their smiles. I look at my hands, the long slender fingers that were once ridiculed by my siblings for being so big and long, and I see my moms hands. The hand that would reach behind as she was walking to hurry me towards her, to welcome my smaller hand.
I watch my brother interacting with people and I see my father in his way of connecting through his warmth and charisma. I see my sister as a mother now, and I can hear my mother’s voice in the lullabies she sings to her daughter. I see the grace and intelligence that my mother possessed, and see it in the way my older sisters act and speak. I see the perseverance my niece has to be who she truly wants to be, and I can see my father in her strength.
I’m lucky to have these moments. These pieces of my parents are more beautiful because they show up in unexpected places and times.
A beautiful result of a tragic situation is the ability to appreciate who made you and where you came from in a way that I think most people take for granted.
Read more from Melissa Silvetti at www.alifeafter.wordpress.com