Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.
Thursday, June 6, 2013:
Are you named after someone on your family tree? Tell us about that person.
Naming children seems to be following different patterns in the United States and in other countries. For instance, I do not have a “middle” name per se, but three different names, and then I also have a Hebrew name. The latter is more of a liturgical name, or religious.
My other names are the usage name, and then those that would qualify for “middle” here. Both of those names are after each of my grandmothers. I like those names a lot, even though I never used them independantly, I mean I would always list them in order after my usage name, it feels like a sing-song, something very melodic, as it gives me a six syllable surname in fact!
My third name is after my mother’s mother, whom I was very fond of. I was nearly thirteen when she died, and I have many memories, as we spent a lot of time together. I used to go to sleep over at her place once a week, then when I grew up twice a week, on Wednesday nights and Saturday nights. She seemed pretty old to me at the time, but we enjoyed spending peaceful time together, it was very structured, a regular simple meal, watching television, the news, in black and white on a heavy set with only one channel. She was reading a different newspaper than the one my parents would read at home, and seemed to have more conservative opinions than my parents, but we never really argued. I remember her as very softspoken, very delicate and neat.
She tried to teach me how to do embroidery but I was really not very gifted with my fingers, and the hoop was not helping me produce much more than a poor flower here and there.
She was very proud of her family, and she spoke about it a lot, telling me memories of her childhood. She was the eldest of many brothers and one sister, her little sister whom she had mostly raised. Three of her brothers were killed during WWI and a fourth one perished in WWII leaving her with only one brother and one sister. They all lived in the same area and were very close.
She loved music. She spoke a lot about classical musicians and she also attended my piano lessons sometimes, encouraging me, when once again, I had limited talent, but I persevered, and really loved music too.
In the end of her life, she had a yellow canari, who was singing very joyfully. She told me he was keeping her company and she liked him a lot. When her appartment got robbed, and a little later her bird died, this made her really very disturbed and sad, I remember she died shortly after. I thought she died because she was finally overcome with too much grief.
Her name was Cécile.
This is my third surname, and I like it very much.
See my other posts of the series: