But V is not me. She loves Disney more than I'd like. She thinks Hannah Montana is cool, and iCarly is even cooler. She listens to my stories about her grandfather, and my grandparents, and my uncles, almost all of whom died before she was born, patiently, but I can see her four year old brain doesn't see why I'm rambling on so. Which is okay. I'm glad she listens. But I would love for her to feel a connection to these ancestors, whose stories I memorized years and years ago.
When we got to Patti Ann, my aunt Beverly's second daughter, who lived for three and half weeks in 1956, I told V about her. I said, "You know your Great Aunt Bev? She had five babies in her life. But Patti Ann died before she was a month old."
V said, "Why?"
"She had an enlarged heart, and it was a long time ago, and doctors didn't know how to fix her. She was very little."
"Oh." Then V knelt down on top of the grave, and spread her arms wide.
"What're you doing?" I asked. I'm not a stickler for cemetery decorum, but this seemed to be a little much, and I didn't want V to think she could be disrespectful here.
"I'm hugging her, so she won't be lonely," V said.
I couldn't help it. I cried.
Then she leapt up, grabbed my hand, and we walked to the car.