About ten years ago I found out that I have a half-sister. Her name is Florence and she is twenty-one years older than I am. It seems my father had a family before he married my mother, but no one told us.
I got a letter from Florence that January, and three months later we met. She is a widow with her own family so I also acquired a half-niece, a half-nephew and some half-grand nephews. We have been together a few times since then, including a couple of years ago when Peter and I attended her grandson’s wedding and met the rest of her family.
Florence has many friends and a very active life in New York City—the theater, the gym and more. But she is now ninety-five and beginning to feel her age.
When I spoke to her the other night, she talked about her busy life, and said she could be out every night. But she also said she didn’t think she would take another trip to the west coast to see her new great grandson. She said that she has some days when she goes to the gym and her body refuses to do what she wants it to. She said she is tired, and I got the impression that she meant life is a bit much these days. At ninety-five, that is OK.
I can only hope that the half of our genes that we share keep me as clear-headed, charming and loving as she is for the next twenty-one years.