Yesterday just before 4 pm, our family grew again with the birth of our grandson Remy. He weighed 8 pounds and is 19.5 inches long, and he is beautiful. His big brother Nate whispered in his ear, “You are going to be my best friend,” bringing us all to tears. It was a magical, wonderful, perfect day.
Remy is named for five remarkable women from all sides of his family. Remy is for Rose, his paternal great-grandmother who passed away just a few months ago. Brandon is for Bea, his other paternal great-grandmother who lived to be 101 years old. Here they both are, together at Remy’s parents’ wedding in 2006. They were both strong, independent women, both widowed far too young, but both women who not only survived, but found continuing joy and fulfillment in their long lives. I was honored to get to know them both.
Remy’s Hebrew name is in honor of three women from his mother’s side. Shalev is for my mother-in-law Sara, Remy’s maternal great-grandmother, who also lived a long life. She was the matriarch of her family and a strong, sweet, loving and incredibly funny woman who was adored by all her grandchildren, her nieces, nephews, and, of course, her sons and her daughters-in-law. She raised two truly wonderful men, one of whom I was fortunate enough to marry.
Ezra is for my two aunts. My father’s sister Eva, who despite contracting MS as a young woman, lived a long and productive life, working until retirement age for the city of Philadelphia, where she was born and lived almost her whole life. She was another strong and independent woman who had an incredibly large and yet close circle of friends. (Picture to come once I get back to my scanner.)
Ezra is also for my Aunt Elaine, my mother’s sister, our family’s matriarch, who was yet another incredibly strong and loving and smart and funny woman, our family historian. As my mother remarked this past weekend, we cannot tell a story about her that does not make us laugh and smile. She, too, was adored by all.
Remy, you have an incredible foundation to start your young life. May you be blessed to have the strength, the heart, the independence, and the sense of humor that all five of these women had to help get you through what we hope will be a long, healthy and very happy life.