In the beginning we come into this world without a name, except all that has been written on our souls for millennia. And along the way we acquire tags that will define us until we leave this Earth.
Love attaches itself to us along the way in the form of nicknames that inspire a kind of closeness and weave themselves like threads into the fabric of our journeys.
When I eulogized my grandmother on an unusually sunny day in December, 2006, I included all of the nicknames she picked up along the way until the day we laid her to rest. They were varied and many and spoke to everyone who she had touched in her 87 years on this mortal plane.
And it was then that I realized how much she was loved.
Some nicknames I had heard, and others I gathered from loved ones who knew her much longer than I ever would. But each one, a term of endearment bestowed upon her from a heart that felt an overwhelming need to give her a tag of love besides the name of Gertrude she was given by her mother.
And this is how we pay homage to one another, to gift these names to each other that say, you are love to me, and my love for you is this.
I’ve met people over the years who have said to me, how much they cannot stand nicknames, and to each his or her own experience.
But to me, we give names to those who we love and to others, the best we can give is our cordiality to their given name and silence.