My mother wanted a redhead. My paternal grandmother, whom I never knew, had beautiful auburn hair or so we were told. Mama held out hope through four girls, but it never happened.
When my sister Beth, who had married a redhead, was expecting her first child, Mama renewed her hopes. Beth’s doctor encouraged that expectation.
We were living in France on Al’s first overseas assignment from the Army when Donna was born, and Mama sent an ecstatic letter telling us about Donna’s red hair. She mentioned it from time to time in letters during the remainder of our two years in France and Belgium.
As luck would have it, Beth and Don were in New Jersey, quite handy for our family of three to visit as we landed in NYC on our return to the states. It was a nice diversion during our wait over the weekend for our car to arrive. Donna, by now, was a very cute two-year-old with light brown hair. Born exactly one year apart, she and her three-year-old cousin had a great time and began a lifetime bond. Not long into the visit, I asked Beth, “What happened to Donna’s red hair?”
Beth laughed. “Donna never had red hair. Mama wanted it to be red so badly, she saw it that way.”
It took another generation for Mama to get her wish, and she’s not here to see it. Her two youngest great-grandsons, with a strawberry blonde mother, require no imagination to find the red hair. I’m just hoping the angels draw back the curtains of heaven now and then for her to watch and enjoy the ginger boys at play.