.... I really can't. Not about everything, but by a couple of kind of big things, one of which I have no control over whatsoever: my sons and their similarities with their Dad.
Son #1 is so much like Jim that it amuses, stuns and stops me cold sometimes. I find more humor in it than sadness, but there's still the sadness. He has the same dry sense of wit that Jim had. He has some of the same mannerisms and some of the same wonderful qualities. He also has some of the same qualities that used to irk me (don't you love that word .... "irk"?).
So I can't make up my mind some days ..... is this a good thing, or a sad thing?
The truth is ..... it's a very good thing ....... even on the sad days.
Son #2 looks like Jim. So much so that it sometimes takes my breath away. Some days I can't make up my mind on that, either.
He also has the same eclectic taste in music. He, much to my chagrin when I'm riding in his car, likes about every kind of music there is .... from screaming to 40's.
Jim used to love to harass the kids with his music on long car trips. Especially with zydeco music. Or bad country music.
Son #2 loves to do the same thing .... especially to me.
I can't make up my mind.
Son #3 has Jim's quietness and surprisingly wicked sense of humor, which comes out when you least expect it.
He has the same love for a sport that Jim had (though the sports are different). He has the same drive for his future and the same ability to be patient when it comes to spending money. He also has the ability to pick a stock and just wait .... and watch it.
Each one of my sons has the ability (unbeknownst to them) to make me smile.
They each make me smile in remembrance of their Dad and yet each can make me cry from that, too.
Some days it fills my broken heart with a little bit of healing to see so much of Jim in them.
Some days it seems to break my heart more with the loss of him.
So while I might not be able to make my mind up EVERY day ..... I would say that most days, most, I love seeing Jim when I see them.
(Photo: though we didn't know it, this was to be our last full family picture -- a year before Jim's death)