Name Day

Ancient ruins Temple of Athena Stock Photo - 40330649
Temple of Athena.  copyright plrang

Continued from:  In Waiting

Name day at last.  All day family had been gathering in the country home, helping with the preparations.  The home would pass to the little one, when the time came. The floors of the house and every wood surface gleamed, mirrors were polished, cobwebs swept away, fresh bedding laid out and blankets aired out.  Flowers were brought in from the garden, and the curtains were thrown back to welcome in the light.  The old girl cleaned up good.

One last check in the mirror told her she was old, but today she didn’t even feel the normal aches and pains of her age.  Her happiness was the only medicine she needed.  Today she wore her ‘hair’ naturally, after all this was a family gathering.  No need to put on appearances for others today.

Her daughter opened her door and announced, “We are ready.”  Her daughter walked near her, ready to provide support if needed, letting her set the pace.  She entered the room, filled with family, surrounding her granddaughter and the beautiful baby girl dressed in the gown passed down from her mother and grandmother.  Each member of the family held a glass of wine from the grapes of the estate.

As she approached her granddaughter, she stopped to greet family members who she hadn’t seen in a long time, who traveled far to be here.  She sat in a chair, the family around her, and the baby was placed in her lap.  Her “hair” straying into her face, falling on the baby girl.

Her voice sounded strong as she gave the baby her blessing.  “May you experience everything life holds.  May you grow in knowledge and wisdom throughout your life. May you grow in love and compassion.  May you know your strength, but never abuse your strength.”

The moment was upon them.  “My precious girl, may you carry our name proudly.”  A tear fell from her eye as memories crowded her thoughts.  Memories of loneliness, of people being unkind and suspicious, but also memories of kindness and love filled her thoughts.  Yes, all the things life holds, the good and the bad filled her thoughts.

“From this day forward your name will be Medusa, not mythical, but a blessing of strength and power to the world.”  The toast to Medusa was given, and each member of the family took a sip of their wine.

She heard a soft hissing from her ‘hair’ in recognition and a tiny hissing in response from little Medusa’s ‘hair.’  Outside the window, in the clearing of the lawn, gleaming in the sun was a unicorn, pawing the ground impatiently.   Handing the little one over to her mother, she instructed her to take little Medusa out to the lawn so the unicorn could greet her.

Medusa watched from her chair as the unicorn nuzzled her namesake.  Life could be hard for anyone different, but it would help little Medusa grow to be both strong and compassionate.  For now, there was nothing to do, but to enjoy the family.

 

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In Waiting

Ancient ruins Temple of Athena Stock Photo - 40330649
Ancient ruins, Temple of Athena.  copyright plrang

She was so fortunate to know her great-grandmother.  Girls in particular, got married so much earlier then, and without modern birth control had so many more children.  Her great-grandmother was the second of 14 children, had an estimated 62 cousins, some of whom she had never met.  Great-grandmother also had a large family, with a slew of grandchildren, and great-grand children, but only she was the one, and was given the great gift of her great-grandmother’s name.

Looking at the clock in the dark, she saw it was nearly 3 a.m., and leaned back on her pillows trying to will herself back to sleep.

Her thoughts took the direct route to the impending birth of her great-grandchild, a girl. It has been such a long time, more than 99 years, nearly the age her own great-grandmother died.  I am ancient, she thought.  Surely, this will be the one, the long-awaited one, the one to get my name.  Surely, she would live long enough to hold the one in her arms.

She may not be remembered by the little one, but she could die knowing that the long legacy would continue.  There was no doubt, this would be her last chance to hold the one in her arms.  Even if her oldest great-grandchild married early and started having children right away, she would be unlikely to live to see the child, girl or boy.

Dozing with snatches of dreams of her great-grandmother, snakes hissing, and laughter, she stayed in bed until 6 a.m.  She got up, dressed, ate her breakfast, and waited.  She knew her granddaughter would wait until a decent time to call her with the announcement.  Her coat was draped over the arm of the chair by the door, and her bag sat next to the coat.  Her so-called hair was coiled for a day out, and her scarf waiting on her shoulders was ready to be wrapped around her head.

The phone rang at 8:30 a.m.  The call was earlier than she thought it would be, but the news was of a healthy girl.  “I am ready to leave,” she told her granddaughter.  Her grandaughter’s father was already on the way to pick her up.  Impatient, she put on her coat, wrapped the scarf around her head, picked up her bag, and headed out the door.

Neighbors out with their dogs refused to meet her eyes as they hurried their animals away from her grass.  She really didn’t mind, as long as they picked up after their pets, but she had given up telling her neighbors that it didn’t bother her.  She didn’t have to wait long.

Her daughter met her at the door to her granddaughter’s room, and took her directly to the bassinet holding the newborn baby girl.  She ran her hand over the tiny infant’s head, looking for the distictive thick stubble she had been instructed to look for.  Yes!

This is the one she awaited.  The naming ceremony would be scheduled.

***

 

 

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