I was editing a story the other day, and one of the problems that kept popping up was the variety of nicknames the writer had given to the characters. The writer knew exactly which name and nicknames belonged to each character, but it was confusing for the reader.
I thought of our family, and I laughed.
You, Mary Elizabeth, were called Mary E. and Mary Ibbeth. When my brother David couldn’t say Marylin, he called me Mayno. Your brother, my Uncle Ira, called me Strawberry Roan and Red. My daughter, Molly Elizabeth (named for you) was called Pinkie Two Shoes, Mookie, and Punkin. Her children, your great-grandchldren, are nicknamed Grace-a-rooni and Ganno-banano, plus many other affectionate terms.
When Grace was born, I became Mor-Mor (Swedish for mother’s mother), and Molly wanted to call Jim Mor-Far (Swedish for mother’s father). Jim didn’t want that. He laughingly said that someone might add a -t to the end (Mor-Fart), and honestly, the name he’d most looked forward to was Grandpa. When the kids were little, because our dog Maggie is always at Grandpa’s side, they called them GrandpaMaggie. One happy, much-loved word.
In Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, an ancient grudge separated two families, the Capulets and Montagues. It didn’t matter to Juliet what Romeo’s last name was: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose- By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Our family would agree with Juliet.
Whatever our nicknames for each other, we say them with love and deliver them with laughter, cuddles, hugs and great affection.
Love you lots, Mary Ibbeth/Mom/Grandma/Mor-Mor-Mor/Great-grandma!
From your daughter: Marylin/Mayno/Mom/Mor-mor
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THE MOTHER’S DAY WRITING CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.
Your entries were creative, funny, poignant and wonderful. Thank you all.
The judges will receive their copies tonight and tomorrow morning.
Winners will be posted on this blog next Sunday, May 20th!
(Below, the Hoover “kids”–left to right: Sam, Wanda, Ira, Mary Elizabeth, Ruth Lavonne)