Right now Gloria has two grandchildren: Gabrielito, who is five, and Milenys, who is four. A baby sister for Gabrielito is expected in March. Gloria is forty-five and the mother of three grown boys.
My friend Sally, who has been here with me every year since I started coming back, has four grandchildren, and I have two. Archie and Else are close in age to Gabrielito and Milenys, as are two of Sally’s. We talk about being older grandmothers. Gloria can expect to see her grandchildren married, and the arrival of great-grandchildren, and perhaps even great-great grandchildren. That possibility isn’t there for me and Sally, who started our families much later. The cycle of life is so much different here.
The red hair is natural; she’s had it since she was born.