She was so fortunate to know her great-grandmother. Girls in particular, got married so much earlier then, and without modern birth control had so many more children. Her great-grandmother was the second of 14 children, had an estimated 62 cousins, some of whom she had never met. Great-grandmother also had a large family, with a slew of grandchildren, and great-grand children, but only she was the one, and was given the great gift of her great-grandmother’s name.
Looking at the clock in the dark, she saw it was nearly 3 a.m., and leaned back on her pillows trying to will herself back to sleep.
Her thoughts took the direct route to the impending birth of her great-grandchild, a girl. It has been such a long time, more than 99 years, nearly the age her own great-grandmother died. I am ancient, she thought. Surely, this will be the one, the long-awaited one, the one to get my name. Surely, she would live long enough to hold the one in her arms.
She may not be remembered by the little one, but she could die knowing that the long legacy would continue. There was no doubt, this would be her last chance to hold the one in her arms. Even if her oldest great-grandchild married early and started having children right away, she would be unlikely to live to see the child, girl or boy.
Dozing with snatches of dreams of her great-grandmother, snakes hissing, and laughter, she stayed in bed until 6 a.m. She got up, dressed, ate her breakfast, and waited. She knew her granddaughter would wait until a decent time to call her with the announcement. Her coat was draped over the arm of the chair by the door, and her bag sat next to the coat. Her so-called hair was coiled for a day out, and her scarf waiting on her shoulders was ready to be wrapped around her head.
The phone rang at 8:30 a.m. The call was earlier than she thought it would be, but the news was of a healthy girl. “I am ready to leave,” she told her granddaughter. Her grandaughter’s father was already on the way to pick her up. Impatient, she put on her coat, wrapped the scarf around her head, picked up her bag, and headed out the door.
Neighbors out with their dogs refused to meet her eyes as they hurried their animals away from her grass. She really didn’t mind, as long as they picked up after their pets, but she had given up telling her neighbors that it didn’t bother her. She didn’t have to wait long.
Her daughter met her at the door to her granddaughter’s room, and took her directly to the bassinet holding the newborn baby girl. She ran her hand over the tiny infant’s head, looking for the distictive thick stubble she had been instructed to look for. Yes!
This is the one she awaited. The naming ceremony would be scheduled.