Sometimes things just come together. Sometimes the past reaches into the present to reveal a missing piece, and then, suddenly the future makes sense.
Naming Olive was a big deal to me, because if she was a girl, I wanted to incorporate my grandmother into it somehow. Her name was Annie, and she died in August of this past year, three months before Olive was born.
She was incredible, a towering presence in my life, and I wanted to honour that. I wanted to give our daughter (if it was a daughter) a piece of that history. At the same time however, I couldn’t fathom naming my baby “Annie”. I couldn’t imaging scolding her, or putting her in a time out while she bore that name.
No one puts Annie in a time out, are you kidding me? If my baby was named Annie I would always be half-expecting her to turn around and lecture me about how my hair is always in my eyes, or refuse to eat from anything but silver spoons.
So for a while Lila was the top contender. It was the name of Annie’s mother – my great-grandmother. But when Olive was born, she just wasn’t a Lila. It didn’t fit.
Her middle name is Grace, which is a strong family name on my grandmother’s side, but I always felt a little bad about the fact that Annie was left out.
Then today I got an email from my mom. today would have been my grandparents wedding anniversary, and my Granddaddy found a card in his desk drawer that he and Annie had been giving back and forth to each other for years, adding on a little note each time.
He scanned the card and sent it to her, and she sent it to me.
Inside it reads, “Olive You”
I couldn’t stop crying. I was nursing O when I read it and my tears kept falling on her head, and I just kept staring at that card, and reading those words over and over and over again.
It breaks my heart that Annie never got to meet this beautiful girl, her first great-grandchild. It breaks my heart that Olive will never get to meet her. But somehow this tempers that loss, this knowledge that for nearly two decades before her birth, my grandparents were using her name to send this silly declaration of love back and forth.
“Olive you, too”