Tuesday morning, Genevieve and Leah head to the memorial gardens, where Rosalind’s service will be held. A reception is planned at a restaurant near campus for afterward. They’re the first to arrive and when Genevieve sees the number of chairs set up, she’s doubtful they’ll all be needed.
“Trust me,” Leah says. “They’re going to need more.”
Esther arrives with another woman, dressed more traditionally, who she introduces as her partner, Hannah. A steady stream of faculty and staff follow and Genevieve is gratified to see the chapel filled almost to capacity.
“See, I told you a lot of people would remember her here,” Leah says.
They’re surprised when Barbara arrives with a man she introduces as her husband, Rich.
“I didn’t expect to see you here,” Genevieve says.
“Funerals are for the living,” Barbara says. “We’re here for you. We also wanted to invite you to the house before you leave. We’re planning to visit Lenora this afternoon, if you have time.”
Genevieve looks at Leah, who says, “Why not?”
“That would be nice,” Genevieve says.
As the service gets under way, Genevieve addresses the crowd. “We had a memorial for Mom in Seattle in January and I pretty much said all I needed to say then. So, today, I’m just going to welcome you here and thank you for coming then get out of the way, because I want to hear what you have to say about her.” She steps aside and indicates the podium. “Who wants to start?”
A long line forms.
After the service, Genevieve and Leah are the last ones remaining at the mortuary. Genevieve says, “Thank you for this. It meant a lot hearing all those stories about Mom.”
“Sooner or later, we’ll probably need to deal with the question of the embryos.”
“My aunt Tamar dabbled in Jewish mysticism before she got married. She once predicted that I’d have lots of children to bring me happiness in my old age. I don’t think this is what she meant.”
“I do wonder how much of my personality comes from you or Papa.”
“At the cookout, Tim and Steven said meeting you was like meeting a younger version of me.”
“I’m going to be around for quite a while, so I guess we’ll have time to find out. I contacted Tech before we left and accepted their offer.”
“Tech’s an awfully big place — and Atlanta? It helps to have someone around who knows the layout and how to navigate.”
“I’ll welcome your guidance.”
“My condo is only a few blocks from campus.”
“Are you saying there’s room?”
“You don’t miss a beat, do you? I do have a third bedroom that’s full of empty boxes. I’ve never had any ideas for it.”
“Sounds like it’s been waiting for someone.”
“Maybe. Just understand this — I am not Rosie, and I am not a mother.”
“I don’t need another mother. The one I had was more than enough for one lifetime.”
“I’ve been working on my eccentric aunt for when the baby’s born.”
“I already have one of those. I suppose I could just continue to call you L.J.”
“Works for me.”
“We should probably head over to the reception.”
“Academics and wine. You’re really going to hear some stories now.”