Scotty, Part One

A couple years ago, while Gramaw was concluding her life here on earth, she slept for three days without waking before drawing her last breath.  Surrounded by her loved ones, including her twin boys who stayed by her side or nearby the entire time, devoted and loving until the end, she died peacefully in her own home, just as she wished.

My cousin Scotty and I too were there for the duration, along with others of Gramaw’s family and friends who loved her.  We were in Gramaw’s bedroom with her while she slept and the kind hospice lady talked to us about what was to come.  Scotty and I were crammed into the lazy boy chair someone had dragged in there and put at the foot of her rented hospital bed.  The hospice lady—-her name lost to me now—-looked at Scotty and me and asked, “Are you brother and sister?”   Scotty and I looked at each other and grinned; we got this a lot, “No, but our dads are twins,” we replied.  (I’m not sure where our dads were at that point, but they obviously hadn’t met the hospice lady yet.)  “Really?”  Said kind hospice lady, “I’m a twin.  Are your fathers identical twins?”  “Yep,” we replied.  “So,” she said, “Did you know that means you are genetic half brother and sister?”[1] Scotty and I exchanged glances again.  We always knew we were more bonded than your average cousins.  “Yep,” hospice lady went on, “because your fathers have identical DNA, so that means genetically you’re half brother and sister.”

I looked at Gramaw lying in bed, asleep, un-wake-able.  “Did you hear that, Gramaw?  Scotty and I are genetic half brother and sister!”  Her foot twitched.

“She smiled!  Did you see that?”  The hospice lady exclaimed.

[1] According to a Wikipedia article, “…first cousins who between them have a set of parents who are identical twins, while technically not siblings, are genetically equivalent to half siblings. Half siblings can have a wide variety of interpersonal relationships, from a bond as close as any full siblings, to total strangers.”


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