Like Mother, Like Son

A mother’s heart is with each of her children in special ways uniquely fashioned to that individual child. The umbilical cord has its own connection to the heart and not just to the baby. To me the cord is not only a nurturing lifeline between mother and child but is also symbolic of a deeper connection.

Brandon’s umbilical cord stayed on him for over a month (a little too long, usually.) It was only because the pediatrician prescribed some kind of liquid for me to put on it that if finally came off. I still have the remainder of his cord wrapped in a tissue and taped to a page in his baby book. Needless to say, I am the kind of mother who saved everything. It had been a joke to some…now it is the only DNA I have of him. He was cremated so truly there is nothing left behind but the cord that once bound us like a loving tether.

I was hardly prepared to be the mother to a male although that is what I prayed for in my last chance to have a son. I had already given birth to two daughters. There would be no more after a third child.

First month of life. July 1979
First month of life. July 1979

My daughters looked a lot like their dad with only obvious gender parts inherited from me. They both have darker hair and brown eyes. I was a little jealous whenever someone made the comparison that people always do when they see your children for the first time. “Why she’s a Heath through and through….” “She has her daddy’s eyes…” And so on. I felt left out even though I knew better.

When Brandon came along I was elated that first, he was a boy, and secondly that he had blue eyes. Brandon started to show his blondness at about eight months old when his hair began to grow. He was as tow-headed as I was as a child. Of course, both his dad and I have dimples which all of our children could not avoid. Throughout our lives the comparisons continued. My heart would swell with pride whenever someone saw the stark resemblance we shared.

Brandon and Mommy....1984
Brandon and Mommy….1984

Brandon Sweet boy 021
Not only did we share a mother son resemblance but we also shared a love of writing. It is a family thing. Both my grandfather and father were authors. Brandon loved writing and he would share all of his ideas with me. We would talk at length about certain intellectual topics throughout his life. He had a passion for politics and he was very vocal about religious topics that he held dear to his Christian heart. He came to me with his problems and was not above asking me for advice. I have always felt honored if my children sought my advice on any subject. But, somehow I have also felt that I failed them in many ways because of it. One of the last things Brandon did was ask me for help concerning his wife which he had done on numerous occasions. He had confidence in my ability to “fix” things…sometimes it worked…sometimes not. I so miss our conversations. I just thought we would always have them…that I would be old, asking him for help.



  1. Dale – what a beautiful, beautiful picture! And head to head with him when he was so tiny – a visual of just how much you love him.

    Thank you for sharing these.


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