My Aunt Lettie said, "Oh, there's nothing like being a grandmother. You're just going to love it when your time comes."
I wasn't too sure I was ready for this grandmother gig. I was 51-years-old when daughter announced it was about to happen. I wanted a baby for daughter and husband - they would be the most amazing parents. Right after marriage, preparations began : "First, we'll get a plant... if the plant lives...then we'll get a dog and if the dog does ok...then we'll have a baby." Three years later I had never seen a more well behaved, loved and spirited animal... but I noticed her house plants were dying so I thought I had more time for my mini-crisis - Me a grandmother?
I conferred with the co-grandmother of our unborn grandchild (the first for both families) at the beginning of daughter's pregnancy. "What do you want this baby to call you? What does your husband want to be called?"
There was only one thing settled in MY mind and that was the name for my husband. Both my grandfathers died before my birth but I grew up with wonderful stories about my mother's father. All my life I've longed to know the person everyone in our family called, Papa. I wanted my grandchild to have a Papa and there were so many of the stories about my grandfather that remind me of my husband - the ability to play and laugh, and love for our Heavenly Father and for family. His name was no big deal to him, he was just ready to play!
As daughter's tiny frame was overtaken with our growing grandchild, co-grandmother and I planned for the future. In the beginning I told her, "You just wait, we'll be the sexiest grandmothers ever." Close to the end of daughter's pregnancy she shot me an e mail, "I looked in the mirror this morning and sexy is NOT happening."
I confided: "She hasn't shown up in my mirror either," ... and quickly changed the subject:
"Decided on a name yet?"
They had decided Poppy was the name for the other grandfather but we grandmothers were continuing to struggle. My son was a lot of help! NOT!
"That kid will call you what it WANTS to call you. You just wait, my kids will call you, granny."
Recently, I saw the e mail address for a cousin on my father's side of the family. She has this grandmother thing down and she does it so beautifully. Joan is the only person I know with "granny" as a part of her e mail address but she is still what my generation calls "cool." She's the only person I know who can pull it off - a cool granny and still really be "cool."
Even my own grandmother whom we called Big Mama chased us down if we teased her and called her granny. With her tiny body, barely 5 feet tall, there will never be another Big Mama in our family; she was one of a kind. If I had grown up to be the Boston Strangler she would've found a reason to praise me: "Well, at least she's good at it." When we were little, cousin Sherri and I fought every time we visited Big Mama, "She's MY Big Mama." "NO, SHE'S MINE!" Grandmothers love unconditionally on a level that surpasses the laws of man and My Big Mama loved us both. She lived to the age of 96 and loved ALL her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Our grandchild's birth drew closer and my friend and co-grandmother chose, Gigi. I love it. It fits her well and it sounds sort of like her name, Jeannie. So they would be Gigi and Poppy. Husband would be Papa and I would be ...
After months of struggle it came to me. Take the name of the best grandmother I knew even if she hated it. My grandmother's name was Molly Rebecca and in her honor, I chose the name Mama Molly.
My Aunt Lettie was right, there is nothing like being a grandmother. The first time our baby granddaughter said my name it came out with the L sounding like a W, "Mama Mowwee," ... and I melted. My heart sings and I am ten years younger when I hear our little granddaughter gleefully announce, "Mama Molly's here" as she runs into my arms for a hug. I can hardly wait for the first time our newborn grandson speaks my name.
Shakespeare posed the question: "What's in a name?" Names are important because they define us but my name is not nearly as definitive as the names for our Heavenly Father. There are many names for God found in the Bible and those names carry more meaning and were chosen with greater care than this grandmother could ever imagine.
The book of Isaiah, calls Him, "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, Stone, Servant, Shepherd, Refuge, Redeemer, the Foundation."
Hebrews refers to Him as "the Author and Finisher of our Faith," "High Priest," and "Great Shepherd." He is also known as "the Great Physician, the Vine, the Word." So many more names than this small list are in God's Word and they all describe our infinite God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
Romans 8:15 says that we have received the "spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father." Abba is a personal name, sort of like "daddy." And we can come to our Heavenly Father, assured of His unconditional love because of the name of His perfect son, Jesus ... and for every Christian, that is the name above all names - the most precious name of all.
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