Catriona had put a lot of work into her family photo album. It wasn’t so much an album; it was more a family tree. Each old photo was accompanied by a brief biography of who was who and what they had achieved in their lives. Catriona nonchalantly kept the album on her coffee table. Visitors would dip into it while Catriona was out in the kitchen making the tea and quickly baking a batch of edibles.
Here was a picture of her great great grandmother who single-handedly had confronted a whole tribe of warlike natives demanding money.
Here was a picture of a great uncle who used to ferry people in his rowboat, one person at a time, across the raging Lualaba River in the Congo.
Here was the highest in command saved when his ship was torpedoed in the war. That was her grandfather.
There is no doubt that Catriona’s ancestry was riddled with heroines and heroes. It was extraordinary how bravery can be passed on from one generation to the next. Was it Nature or Nurture?
“Perhaps it’s a bit of both,” Catriona would say, “although there are some people in my tree that are not yet in the album. If the truth be known, they were quite ordinary!”
Indeed! If the truth be known! The whole thing was a fiction in Catriona’s world. She had been adopted at birth. She had no clue who her biological parents were. Murgatroyd, a visitor from Little Ivywood Hamlet, pointed this out.
“Heavens to Murgatroyd!” exclaimed Catriona. “This is the family tree of my adopted parents. Family is not in the genes; it’s in the heart. And this is an album of my family.”