It was back several months ago, maybe Christmas, or some such occasion, a family dinner. We were all gathered around our dining room table. Son, James, passed out nicely printed cards to each of us.
An announcement. My son, James, and his wife, Jennifer, were proud to announce their future addition to our family. A girl. Wonders of modern medical science had told them that much. The card told us her name would be Caitlyn Leona Heishman.
Great news. Wonderful news. News I’d been hoping to hear while I lived, breathed and was still in possession of good mental capacity. I promptly forgot her name.
Months passed. I’d pull my proud grandpapa act telling folks about the imminent arrival of my granddaughter and then I’d look stupid because I couldn’t answer the “What are they going to name her” question.
Middle name stuck. Leona. For a lot of years now, I’ve known a good bright happy lady named Leona. Leona Reynolds of Moorefield. She’d helped Phoebe’s family run the Moorefield Examiner for many years. She served with me on Hardy County Public Library Commission board for several years and she plays bridge with my sister. Leona Reynolds is “good people.”
[private] Ok, so when asked for the elusive name of my Granddaughter, my mind would step through the image of Leona Reynolds and her name would automatically drop into place. But then there was Caitlyn. How to remember that one?
One afternoon at the farm I saw Scoot, my cat, sneaking through Marigolds and Zinnias planted in the long narrow box near Big House’s back kitchen door. Not sure what the sneaking was all about, but she was definitely stalking something. Head down, eyes focused, front paws reaching out to slip between plants, rear end crouched ready to spring on her oblivious prey, she looked the part of a Lion creeping up on an unsuspecting gazelle.
Scoot Lion. Cat Lion. YES! I had it. Thoughts of my future granddaughter popped into my head. Caitlyn. My memory was jogged. I’ve not had a bad name memory moment since. Caitlyn Leona Heishman.
July 6, 2017, some odd time in the morning, Jennifer at work at American Woodmark, and James on his way to court houses in Grant and Pendleton Counties, the birthing process began. Following months of careful planning, those proud parents to be promptly began running around like beheaded chickens. After several false starts in several directions for several reasons, none of which were really pertinent or important, they arrived at Winchester hospital.
James called his mother, Phoebe, near the moment of arrival. Phoebe heard lusty squalls in the background and promptly pronounced Caitlyn healthy. The doctor’s word and Caitlyn’s activity since underline the healthy part. I’ve seen Jennifer who looks as great as she always has. James is a grin waiting to happen at slightest provocation.
I wish Doc and Ms. Ruth, my parents, could see her. Their first Great Grandchild. Mom’s mind would be working overtime thinking about where to begin Caitlyn’s education. Pap would be wondering when she’d first notice his wiggling mustache and giggle.
Perpetuation of the species. That’s what nature is all about. If you can’t make additions to the human population directly then you must work to ease or enhance the path through life for those additions others make. For now my branch of Heishman/Cook bloodlines live on into the future.
I can’t wait to introduce Caitlyn to Scoot. Maybe I’ll nickname her “Cat.”