What’s In a Name?

“Mama?” Tiller said, putting her head on my shoulder as we sat on the couch, her watching Mermaidia and me reading a book.

“Yes, Baby?” I said, turning to look at her, eye to eye.

“What’s your name?”

“Anne. My name is Anne.”

“What’s your other name?”

“You mean my middle name?”

“Yeah. Your middle name.”

“My middle name is Dunstan.”

“Huh?!”

“Dunstan. Anne Dunstan Palmer.

“What’s Dunstan?”

“It was my Grandma’s maiden name. Her last name, before she was married. Like mine was Palmer before I married your Daddy. She was Vivian Arenda Dunstan.”

“Oh.”

She sat thinking for a second.

“So, she was my great grandmother.”

“Yes. Yes, she was. Your Grandma Palmer’s mother. She died before you were born, though. But you would have loved her. And she would have loved you very, very much.”

“How come?”

“Because she and I loved each other very, very much. She was so much fun. She taught me to play cards, and Sorry, and build card houses, and to dance the Charleston. She liked to watch The Price is Right with me, and I Love Lucy. And she had the best laugh ever.”

“I wish I could have met her.”

“I do, too, baby. I do, too.”

Amazing that talking to my baby girl about my Grandma can make her seem like she is almost here. I can almost imagine her sitting here with us right now. And it sure does make me miss her, even almost 20 years later. We loved each other very, very much.

Grandma and Me, 1972

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