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Life’s circle

And The Legal Genealogist‘s word for today is


The real kind.

babyThe two arms, two legs, two eyes, one amazing set of lungs, and wet at both ends kind.

The kind that will astonish and amaze us… once she decides to get here.

Not too soon, of course. She’s not due for another two months — Valentine’s Day 2014. But soon enough for her first time parents — who are at one and the same time a bit excited and a bit frightened by this impending change in their lives.

She will be the youngest member of my extended family, for at least a day or two until upstaged by another. (We’re at that dizzingly wonderful stage of a family’s existence when babies are being hatched at an astounding rate and there is another in her generation due very soon after we expect to welcome this little one.)

And today, in Virginia, we gather to share our joy with the mother-and-baby-to-be. A baby shower, full of all the fun and delight that only a baby shower can bring.

A gathering of the family with all the smiles and hugs and pink ribbons and bows that only the promise of a new baby garners. A gathering that reminds us of life’s circle.

Her grandmother-to-be is my first cousin Susan, her mother-to-be my first cousin once removed Patricia, and she will be my latest first cousin twice removed. (I don’t know exactly how many of them I have — a lot, I know!)

She will be loved. She will be treasured. She will make us smile even when she makes us cry. We absolutely can’t wait to meet her.

And at some time during the day we will all turn to each other and, very quietly, so as not to spoil even a moment of the day, we will say, “I wish Marianne was here to see this.”

Marianne was my mother’s younger sister. Susan’s mother. Patricia’s grandmother. This new baby’s great grandmother. And when any of Patricia’s cousins would ask her if she was their great aunt, her constant reply was: “No, darlin’, I’m your greatest aunt.”

She would have been the greatest great grandmother.

We all understand and accept that no-one lives forever. But Marianne would have only been 77 years old this year, had we not lost her six years ago.

Lost her in 2007 to those damned cigarettes that took so many of her generation — and the one before — and the one after.

She should have been here today to see this.

And we can only pray that those damned cigarettes never take another one from us… and from the little girl whose coming brings us together today.

Enough with the broken circles.

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