“Did you hear the latest family news?” Maga crowed into the phone.
“I did! Little baby M arrived!”
“Two weeks early.”
“She was excited to see the world. Like another preemie in the family.”
“Oh, good heavens. I’d forgotten about that. This makes 8 greats, 12 grands, 4 kids. Can you believe I was an only child? It amazes me to think about being an only child and being responsible for a family of this size. It just keeps growing by leaps and bounds.”
“You’ve done an impeccable job.”
“I wished I’d had brothers and sisters. It was just me and my mom, Nana, and her mom, Granny.”
“What happened to your grandpa?”
“He was German. He emigrated to the US and after that, he met Granny in NYC. He died before I was born.”
“She never got remarried?”
“No. It was just her, my mom, and I in NJ. She had such a lovely garden. And a rose trellis with climbing roses. She was such a good gardener. But it was just the three of us. On weekends, my Uncle E would come down from the city to help Granny with her finances, so we had him as a companion, but it was a rather lonely childhood.”
“Were you close with your mother?”
“Very. She was a wonderful woman. A kindergarten teacher for many many years. She had loads of friends. That tells you the kind of woman she was.”
“And you must have had lots of friends too?”
“Oh, of course. At school and in the neighborhood, but with just Nana and Granny and I, it wasn’t your normal childhood. I wished I’d had brothers and sisters. But then after I met Jobo, that was the best part of my life. He was such a wonderful man and we did so many interesting things together. All that traveling for his job. And the four kids we had together. That was special. And now look at the size of our family!”
Her heart was expanding with future generations while mine was full with the past.