grandmother by marriage and the third wife of her first father

I met Margit* at Amanda’s* party. Margit is married to the father of Amanda’s ex-husband Thomas*. Margit refers to Thomas as her son by marriage – jokingly, as she says. In general, she finds it wonderful how so much family fell to her so late in life, »without having to lift a finger«, as she says with a fine smile. »My husband’s children« is her official term. Someone once used it in her yoga class. It made sense to her. »Stepchild« had already been a terrible term for her and she didn’t like to use it. 

A granddaughter by marriage, Manja*, initially suspected that Margit wanted to replace her deceased grandmother. Manja was 14 at the time and it took a while for them to develop their own very warm, friendly relationship when Manja understood that Margit had no demands or expectations.

Margit thinks she was very lucky anyway and surprised me with how things went on. Her parents had divorced, at that time with the question of guilt still to be answered. Her mother was to blame and Margit and her sister came to live with their father. Her »first father«, as she says later in the conversation, because her mother had married two more times. Again later Margit mentions the »third wife of my first father«. That was the moment when I told her that my brain was slowly overflowing and that I had to write all this down now.

When we said goodbye, I thanked her and told the hosts to bring her to my book reading one day. »Hurry up.« says Margit, flashing me a canny look from below, »I’m 86. I don’t have that much time left.«