This is the story of the relative who would not be named until the time had come.
She's a toddler now and saying all kinds of words, which absolutely delights us. "Juice" is "geesh." Can't get any cuter.
She has been naming all things in her world, but one thing remained nameless; that thing was I, the maternal grandmother.
We would look at family photos, and she'd click off names: "Papaw, Meh Meh, Da da, Ditdin (Kristin)," etc. She can name objects in books, even some colors. But for the longest time, when I'd point to myself and ask, "And who is that?" She would purse her lips as if she were a prisoner holding a secret from an interrogator and with her little index finger swipe the page or picture on the phone and then begin anew exclaiming names for everything and everyone with a lot of energy. It was like the curtain of silence fell on her when my picture would show up. Once I was gone, the curtain lifted.
I started to get a complex. Maybe because George started calling me "Chopped Liver," just for fun.
I tried calling myself several cutesy names when I would talk to her: "Would you like Gramma to get your juice?" "Gigi loves you." Nothing stuck.
The only potential name I could not abide was "Meemaw." I think it sounds too much like "Heehaw" and brought up images of Cloris Leachman, "Mawmaw," on "Raising Hope."
Recently I decided to make a photo book for her on the Walgreen's site. I dropped in pics of everyone on both sides of her family, including great grandparents and family pets. Finally, it came to this: I had to name myself something.
I texted Katie, "I've got to call myself something. What should I choose for this book?" She replied, "Grammy. That's how I refer to you when I talk about you."
So "Grammy" was it. On July 30, 2014 I thought I became "Grammy."
On August 7, the book arrived. I was so excited to show her! I put her on my lap, opened the book and began to read about her mommy and daddy. She was very chatty about the pages, and when I turned to the page with my face on it, she took that little index finger over her shoulder and poked me under the chin, looked up and said as plain as day, "Nana."
"What? What did you just say, Child?!"
Oh, my heart leapt! I have a NAME! I am "NANA!"
And that is what I have heard all day long, every day that I've watched her since August 7. I was "Grammy" for about a week, just long enough to get it permanently into print. Looks like "Nana" is going to stick! I love it!