Saturday, April 28, 2012

What's In A Name?

My grandma had a knack for all things creative. 
That's probably where my Mom and I get it. 

She even had a gift for unique nicknames. Most people get called generic nicknames like "boo boo" or "honey", which I know is still special to the person who is called by those terms of endearment, but my grandma called me something special: Chickadee.

For as long as I can remember that has been her name for me. It was used so much in place of my name that I often forgot I had a "real" name. For me, I was her Chickadee and she was my MawMaw. In fact, until I was 10 or so, I thought "MawMaw" was a name that only I called my grandma. Imagine my surprise when I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read "World's Greatest Mawmaw!"

I vividly remember spending Summers at her house. Her neighbor always had a vegetable garden and in the Spring he would plant cucumbers. By May or June, they were winding their way up the chain link fence that she and her neighbor shared. He was even kind enough to plant them just so they would grow over her side of the fence and I could pick them. Oh, to be a kid again!

The way they smelled when they were cut into has stuck in the recesses of my mind for years now. It wasn't until tonight when CajunGuy and I were eating at a restaurant and I caught a whiff of a cucumber that was in my salad that those memories floated to the surface of my brain. And with it came all of the other memories her and I have shared.

I lost my MawMaw in 2004 and my heart still aches for her. Monday would have been her 70th birthday. Up until now, I don't think I ever let myself feel her absence. She and I were so close that it hurt way too much to let the grief settle in.

Lately I find myself missing her more and more. She isn't here to call and share great moments with, she wasn't at my wedding and she will never get to meet my children this side of Heaven. 

But I hold on tightly to the hope that at the end of my days here on Earth I will see her again. She'll be waiting to hold me and call me Chickadee again. I have so much to catch her up on that it may just take an eternity to tell her! :-)

What about you? What's your nickname?

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