Particularly as he'd grown older and seen nearly all his classmates and colleagues married off, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman often had cause to wonder why he'd never done the same. It seemed he was always getting invitations to births and naming ceremonies of every species native to the Alpha Quadrant, and he went more often than not. Although he didn't normally enjoy social gatherings, it fascinated him to see how similar, really, such ceremonies all were at their core: a preoccupation with continuity, with tradition, with leaving something behind that would outlive oneself.
Dr. Zimmerman himself had been raised by parents who believed with all their hearts that marriage and family were a sacred duty; perhaps, he mused, that was what had turned him off to the whole thing in the first place. When little Lewis was born, his parents prayed in vain at his bris that they'd live to see him married under a chuppah. He had learned to lay tefillin and to thank God for not making him a woman. He had chanted ancient verses printed by hand on a scroll on animal skin centuries after humans had stopped printing books on paper. None of those things had secured for his parents their first and dearest wish, and for that he was sorry.
But there was something Lewis loved more even than his parents: his work. There just hadn't been time for the million little niceties that romantic relationships seemed to require. He'd never met anyone intriguing enough to make him give up his late nights in the lab, puzzling over algorithms that would make a hologram blink in a realistically randomized pattern. And even though it had been years since he had been a regular attendant at worship services, Lewis Zimmerman still felt he had done what he could to restore some of the brokenness of the universe.
Sometimes he liked to look out at the night sky and wonder how many of his Emergency Medical Holograms were in action at that precise moment, helping out in a crisis or just in an understaffed sickbay. He knew that it was written in the Mishna that to save one life was tantamount to saving an entire world. How many worlds could be populated, then, with the lives those holograms had saved? These were his children, this was his legacy. Surely, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman thought, that meant as much, or maybe more, than producing physical offspring of his own. Surely they would still be in service long past the time when he left this life, would carry his face and his knowledge to thousands of beings he would never meet. And what more, really, could any father ask?