Her name is Marty Jean, her mother’s name was Ethel Jean, her brand new human granddaughter is Lucy Jean.
The “L” for Lucy is a part of son-in-law Lyle’s family tradition. The Jean is for Marty, to honor Marty, to connect Lucy to Marty to Ethel Jean. The name Lucy Jean sings Texas; the name is daughter Erin’s ode to her mother.
I was there when Lucy Jean was born. I don’t mean in the room, I’m a cool dude, I’m not that cool of a dude nor was the mom to be, Erin, cool with me being that cool of a dude. I was in the same town, the same hospital, the same floor as the birth, that’s how cool of a dude I am. I was being a cool dude with Larry and Eileen the other grands, in the waiting room as the actual birthing took place.
The new human, Lucy Jean, was born around 8 p.m.. I sent pictures to Marty Jean who was at our lake house with Nathalie Nichole, her caregiver. Not long after Lucy’s introduction to the world, not long after the pictures, not long after Erin and Lyle announced the name I sent another picture to Marty and left for the one hour some minute trip to the lake.
When I got to the house a little after 11 that night I was tired but still a little juiced up from the day’s events…..you know, a whole new beating heart human being in the world that was a direct descendent of …..Me. Marty and Nykkie were wrapped in soft sheets and blankets sitting up in her bed watching a little night time trash TV and sipping on drinks….cranberry.
I walked in and asked if they had received the pictures of Lucy I had e-mailed, with my smart phone skills you never know. They did.
I asked, “Well Marty, what do you think?”
She didn’t hesitate, “She’s beautiful.”
“Damn straight, she’s your brand new grandbaby.”
I sat on the edge of the bed, looked at Marty and said, “What do you think of her name, Lucy Jean? You know she is named after you don’t you?”
Marty smiled and her eyes opened wide. I could see glimpses of pride and gratitude creep onto her face and come out through her pale blue eyes.
I have to say for a 20th century guy I am pretty intuitive. I am lousy at poker because I can’t read strangers well enough to discern dishonesty, but I am good at seeing emotions played out in body language, facial cues, and the eyes of people I know really well. I know Marty really well…..I have a doctorate of Marty after all.
The eyes almost always do it for Marty, they widen, they brighten, they become clear and focused when she is happy.
She said in response to my question of the name, “Oh, that’s kind of dumb.”
The words were the polar opposite of her face. The words, “that’s kind of dumb,” came out of her mouth, “it is amazing, it makes me feel wonderful, I am so proud,” came from the face of the woman I know better than I know myself.
The part of Marty’s brain that allowed for, that fed unmitigated physical displays of joy went away with the first stroke. She doesn’t seem to get outrageously happy anymore and she certainly doesn’t show extreme happy these days. There’s no raising of the hands in sheer joy, no verbal or non-verbal yippees, no happy dancing anymore. Unrestrained is not what Marty does post stroke.
Apparently she has adopted some false modesty in place of the yippee. I know she was thrilled because she can’t close down her eyes or her face or her smile. When she said, very simply, “Beautiful,” in response my question of “what do you think?”, when Marty’s eyes opened wide and flashed blue when I asked about the name, when she let go with her broad smile all I could see was Marty doing a wild gyrating happy dance.
Lucy JEAN thrilled Marty for a lot of reasons.
I don’t remember if it was a song lyric or just a colloquialism but the words go something like this, “Are you going to believe what a say or believe my lying eyes.” The eyes have it.