Reflection on Z

ZEDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an exercise in self-flagellation we bloggers inflict upon ourselves to teach us discipline as writers and to build audience. During the month of April, I’ll be posting 26 times, once for every letter in the alphabet. Looking on the bright side, we can each be thankful this is an English language exercise and not Khmer, the language of Cambodia, which sets the world record with a 74-character alphabet! After some misgivings, I’ve decided to proceed with my initial idea of blogging about the special people in my life whose names begin with the appropriate letter. There will be difficulties, like having more than one special person whose names begin with the same letter, forcing me to choose. And then there are those letters — O, Q and X among them — where no name springs readily to mind. What will I do then? We’ll have to wait and see!

Zoe is my youngest grandchild, and the last alphabetically.
Zoe is my youngest grandchild, and the last alphabetically.

Z is for Zoe

Little Zoe is my last grandchild, both chronologically and alphabetically.  She represents, so to speak, the end of the line for the A-to-Z Challenge.

My son is a sailor, and was on deployment during a part of his wife’s pregnancy, but Zoe waited for him to return from the sea, her mother going into labor just a few short hours after the USS Nevada secured lines to the pier.

Zoe likes her new toy dishes, and enjoyed preparing exotic meals for Grandma and Grandpa, which she zapped in her pretend microwave oven.
Zoe likes her new toy dishes, and enjoyed preparing exotic meals for Grandma and Grandpa, which she zapped in her pretend microwave oven.
First haircut? No problem for Zoe, who was more curious than fearful.
First haircut? No problem for Zoe, who was more curious than fearful.

Zoe is blessed with her mother’s dark hair and deep brown eyes. She enjoys being the center of attention, like she was recently for her first haircut. I was on hand for the big event and was expecting tears, but Zoe handled it like a champ. She was more curious than afraid, and the only tears shed came from her mom.

She enjoys playing with her little dishes — a gift from Grandma and Grandpa — and pretending to cook delicious meals inside her toy microwave. But her favorite thing seems to be dogs. She’ll laugh at the antics of her own pets, Hunter and Dakota, but also wants to greet every dog she meets during walks in the park, and it’s clear those dogs love her, too.

Zoe has a winning personality, babbling incoherently, yet emphatically, during our trip to Washington State earlier this month. Grandma and Grandpa weren’t always sure what she was saying, but we were never in doubt that it was very important!

As my only grandchild to have the same last name as me, Zoe is special for that reason, but I’m already looking far into the future. Will she marry, some day? Will she change her name to that of her husband?

Zoe tries to escape Grandpa's evil clutches during a recent trip.
Zoe tries to escape Grandpa’s evil clutches during a recent trip.

When my son’s submarine ties lines to the pier, it represents the end of a journey. Does this female grandchild, then, represent the end of my line? I hate thinking like that because it’s small-minded, but having been raised in a patriarchal society, it’s difficult not to have those thoughts.

A dear friend once taught me to look at life not as a line, not as a circle, but as a spiral, which is the shape it takes when the element of time is added to the equation. On life’s spiral pathway, the ancestors I never knew are no different from the progeny I’ll never meet, and perhaps far into the future, the next writer in the family will have no difficulty thinking of names that start with K, U, V, X or Y, and I’ll be far beyond caring what their surnames will be.

No matter our name, no matter our language, no matter our religion, color or gender, we are all one family, and in that sense, Zoe’s place is no different than yours. Together, we are all special, all blending, all spiraling off into the distance, to a place where endings are defined only by the limits of our imagination.

The Letter A, Aaron, with the Letter Z, Zoe. Is it the end, or a new beginning for my family?
The Letter A, Aaron, with the Letter Z, Zoe. Is it the end, or a new beginning for my family?
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32 Comments

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  1. I was the last to bear my father’s surname but my son has it as his middle name, which feels good to me.
    Thank you so much for the introductions to your beautiful family – I have so enjoyed reading them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great post to end the series with! Zoe is adorable. I love the fact that she waited to be born until her father returned from sea. What a considerate child, even in the womb.

    I’ve really enjoyed following along with you from A all the way to Z!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The perfect person to complete the challenge. Zoe is so adorable!! Thank you so much for sharing your family with us throughout the month. It has been a pleasure to visit each day. Congratulations on the great work and look forward to reading more as the weeks go by. Wishing you and your incredible family, good fortune, health and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. zoe is a beauty. It’s been a great batch of stories. Thanks for including me. What’s next??

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glenn, I just want to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. Although you have been my son-in-law for 39 years, I learned many new interesting stories about your ancestors. I am so glad you are part of our family. My Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren are so fortunate to have this history to share on and on with their children. Our large family can be intimidating, I guess, to people who are not used to everyone talking at once, but you took it in stride and were able to help the future son-in-laws to not be overwhelmed. I hope you keep on writing, you have a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Chef Zoe is so adorable! She and the other grandkids are lucky to have such a wonderful family. Congratulations on the A-Z Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zoe is absolutely adorable and you have a neat sense of humor which made reading about an unknown family on the other side of the worlds so much fun. I am not quite sure of how i stumbled upon this blog, though I do have some faint recollection of being intrigued at the thought of gnomes being at the center of a blog. Looks like the gnomes dragged me here – guess I got no choice but hang around to meet them as well 😀 Thank you for a wonderful first atoz challenge experience

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on finishing. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the special people in your life. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Janice Carter Brown April 30, 2016 — 1:17 pm

    Glenn, I so enjoyed this journey through your life and loves. It makes me so proud to see you doing what you do so well. You’re the best. I loved the challenge and also enjoyed the “One Year in the Life” series. Say hello to Mary and the family and the next time you see your grands give them a kiss from ‘Aunt Janice.’ Love you

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Janice Carter Brown April 30, 2016 — 1:24 pm

    Oops. It’s “A Year in the Death …” I clicked off before checking the copy. But you know what I meant and when you think about it, it’s all about life too – yours. Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A fitting and felicitous final installment, old boss, and all the more touching because I know it to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ok, no more double entendres you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Zoe is a very pretty name. She definitely will have a big personality when she grows up. Maybe she will be in a high school play.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve enjoyed reading all your posts this challenge and I’ll definitely continue lurking once the challenge is over! I think your wife should take all the A to Z posts here and turn them into a book 😀 Just a thought

    Liked by 1 person

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