Family Names

Naming a child is kind of a big deal.

Viddy and I decided that for our children, we would use family names for middle names. Lulu is a nickname from Sweet BabyGirl’s middle name, Louise.

Louise is my grandma’s (on my dad’s side) middle name. And it’s the feminine form of my grandpa’s (on my mother’s-side) name.

Four years ago, my grandpa passed away. Suddenly and unexpectedly. From a brain aneurysm.

Four years ago, I held my grandpa’s hand and told him I loved him and would miss him before they took him off life support.

Grief is hard and terrible and just plain unhappy to deal with. When my grandpa passed away I questioned everything I believed about death and what happens after this life.

I miss my grandpa. I miss how he would always wave goodbye on the porch, whether we were going to the store or driving across the country. I miss his snoring in front of the TV. And his lectures to me on the importance of car maintenance (the same lectures I STILL here in my head whenever it’s time to get an oil change on my car.) I miss his laugh and his quick, but strong, hugs.

My grandpa exemplified loyalty. And stubborness. And practicality. And hard work.

Although my grandpa is not here in mortality, I have felt and still feel his love. When I was looking for a place to live and looking for a job in DC (a few months before Viddy and I met) I was on the metro, playing a game on my phone, and a wireless network invitation popped up called “grandpa1,” even though I had the search for wireless network option turned off. It made me tear up, sitting on the metro car with a bunch of strangers, while I was searching for housing in a place I had never lived before and had maybe 2 friends. When I saw that “grandpa1” pop up on my phone, I just felt peaceful and reassured about my decision to move across the country.

While I was pregnant, I had a dream that I was sitting and talking with my grandpa. We were just casually talking and laughing about who-knows-what. It wasn’t important what we were talking about. I woke up feeling happy and rested – like after spending a fun afternoon relaxing and talking with family.

I know Lulu won’t know her great grandpa in this life, or her great-grandma’s on Viddy’s side of the family. But I’d like to think/beleive that she knew them before she came to us. I’d like to think that my grandpa sat down with her and pointed out all her crazy-go-nuts family members. And that he told her he would watch over her.

I miss my Grandpa. I know I can’t hug him right now, or sit in his living room and just talk. But I know he’s watching out for me and his great-granddaughter. And I know that we can all be together as a family, forever.

Naming a child is a big responsibility. I hope, by naming her after family, that she will grow up feeling buoyed up, supported by and connected to all her family that loves her – whether that family is physically here with her or not.

3 comments to Family Names

  • britt@knewlywifed  says:

    Such a sweet post! We used my maiden name as part of my son’s name. I’m sure you’ll keep your grandpa’s legacy alive through stories to Lulu 🙂

  • engquist  says:

    Thank you for sharing in yet another mascara on the comforter moment with me.

  • Vanessa  says:

    Sweet, sweet post. I feel the same way about family names. I really hope that our little girls can receive extra strength when they remember who they were named after. And I love that we can help our kids feel tied to their family members who lived before them. Hope you guys are doing well with everything!