We always knew we wanted to name our daughter Lillian. We just didn't know if we'd get the chance. First there was a James instead of a Lillian, and then there was a William. But the 3rd time was the charm and we got our girl. We got our Lillian. She is named Lillian after her Grandma and Great-Grandma. They were both Lillians and I am proud to name my daughter after them.
I don't have lots of memories of my Grandma Lillian (we called her Grandma Simon) but most of the ones I have of her are very dear to my heart. Even when she lived with us and had to share a household with 2 noisy little kids, she still gave us money to spend on an ice cream at Thriftys and read us stories and gave us hugs. I remember little things about her like how she got small boxes of Cheezits for me and Animal Crackers for Ben. I remember the teddy bear she always had on her bed and the fancy silver brush and mirror that sat on her dresser. I loved using them and she always let me. She passed away when I was in 5th grade and I am sad that I didn't get to know her better when I was old enough to appreciate her more.
I hope that Lilly has lots more memories of her Grandma Lillian than I do of mine. She is fortunate to spend lots of time with her already. But more than being blessed enough to spend time with a loving Granny, Lilly is blessed to be named after that Granny. I will always be sure she know that. And I will always be sure she knows the things that make Granny so special. That she is a strong and courageous woman. That she loves God and her family. That she always put her families needs in front of her own and is a wonderful example to me of what a wife and a mother ought to be. That she made sure that there was always enough hot water for Dad to have a hot shower when he came home from work. Even if that meant that we kids had to take short showers. That she is a great cook and taught all her kids to appreciate good food. How much she loves to read and taught all her children to be readers like her. When I read Anne of Green Gables or Little House in the Big Woods with Lilly, I will tell her about how my Mommy used to read them with me. I will carry on the memories from one Lillian to the next.
Lillian's middle name is Catherine. Besides loving that name because it is beautiful and regal sounding, Catherine is someone very special to us. I am so honored to have my daughter share her name. We call her Cathy and she is my Mom's best friend. She is actually so much more than that. The Pedersens are our family. We grew up with their kids, they lived with us, Cathy labored on our couch with her daughter Erin, when we didn't have a car they lent us theirs and when Ed was overseas and Cathy heard someone on the roof, my dad came down with this mag light and a bat to scare off the raccoon. They were always there for us and we for them. Cathy is like my 2nd Mom. I know I could ask her anything, tell her anything and trust that she would love me and help me and take care of me, just like a Mom does. She helped me give birth to 2 of my kids and would have been in there for the C-section if they would have let her. I always say I would have had 3 C-sections without Cathy. I admire Cathy for her strength and undying love for her family. She is an incredible wife and mother. One who would, and does, do anything for them. As Lilly grows, I can't wait for her to know and love Cathy the same way I do. She is a wonderful lady.
I am so proud that Lilly shares her name with these 2 dear women. There is one other thing about Lillian and Catherine that I love so much, and it is something that I plan on talking about with Lilly a lot. That is their friendship. They have been friends for 30 years. They have weathered storms together, cried together, laughed together (a LOT of laughing with those 2) watched each other's children grow up and have babies. They are always honest with each other, even if it hurts and its hard. There are not a lot of people you can say those things about, but it is true of my Mom and Cathy. Their friendship has always been a constant in my life. It gives me joy and comfort knowing that it is there. I pray that someday my daughter will have a friendship like that. It is good to know they are there for each other and for all of us.
It is good to call my daughter Lillian Catherine and think of her namesakes every time I do.
I love you, Mom.