I'm kind of writing around the subject here, and I'm not sure why. My Uncle Wil, my father's brother, died last week unexpectedly. Wil was a follower of my blog, the only family member other than my daughter Grace. Here he is with his son Michael and grandson Logan.
Since I can't seem to write about Wil, I thought I would divert to write about Grace and how proud I am of the way she mingled at the funeral and luncheon.
She was... well, there's no other way to put it. She was like me.
At first, I'd find her behind me as I went to hug aunts or uncles or cousins. Then she branched out on her own, holding long, involved conversations with people she hadn't met before that day. Here's a picture of Grace with her cousin Caroline, someone she has spent plenty of time with.
When we got to the luncheon, Earl and the boys sat down at a table to wait for the rest of the crowd. I started talking to cousins I hadn't seen for awhile and there was Grace beside me, answering queries about college and asking pertinent questions. I could see her brain making connections on the family tree.
Twice she has paid her own money for a month on ancestry.com so she can trace our heritage. In our family, she is the storykeeper.
Some time I'll have her explain how our family is related to Eleanor of Aquitaine and Earl's family is traced to Henry the Eighth.
On Saturday though, she focused on the family we have now. I didn't think about it at the time, but after a long drive home Saturday night, I was up early Sunday morning. It hit me then, how Grace, who we think of as reserved, dived right into the crowd. She was charming and sweet. The true her.
So at 8:45, I got up from my desk and crawled into Grace's bed to hug her. "Thanks," I told her.
In many ways, I wouldn't want Grace to be like me. But I'm glad that she inherited this social/family gene. Every generation needs a storykeeper.
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