20 May 2011

family myth

Reading my grandmother's letter to T - her reply to his letter asking about her "old country family" - I get to the part where, yes, my great-great-grandfather, between two wives, fathered 23 children.

T: WHAT? Twenty-three kids?! I don't think that's even possible.
S: I know it seems crazy, doesn't it? But, it's true, Abraham had eleven children and then that wife, Sarah, died and he married another woman and they had twelve more children.
T: I know that my great-grandma would not lie in this letter, but I'm thinking this has to be a myth. You know, like greek myths, but this is a myth about way too many kids!
S: It's true that if someone had 23 kids it wouldn't seem real. What do you think is a more usual number of children to have in one family?
T: I won't have more than two or three kids, because if I had even four, then I could end up with maybe 14 grandchildren and that's just too many to remember.
T: Holy cow, Mama! So, Abraham. This is even more amazing than all the kids!
S: ... What is?
S: Ooooh, no, we aren't related to Abraham Lincoln; we just happen to have a long-ago relative named Abraham.
T: Are you sure? Did you check the names in the letter?
S: I'm sure - here, you can look again. Now that would be some family myth, wouldn't it?
T: Yeah, better than the greek myths for sure.

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