By Betsy Cross Thorpe
“We should all have that one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, my Grandmother was that person for me.” Phyllis Theroux
I can’t recall what my grandmother was doing when I first made my promise to her. Was she busy at her sewing machine, tapping her foot up and down to keep the treadle going? Was she bent over the wood stove, lighting some kindling to start a fire? Perhaps she was in the yard tending to her roses, or on the porch snapping some freshly picked green beans. Was it while she was busy in the kitchen, boiling down some berries to make a batch of her much-loved blackberry jam? Its quite possible that I might have whispered it in her ear late one winter afternoon, while she was sitting quiet in her chair just resting her eyes.
I really can’t say.
But what I do know is that at some time during my childhood I promised my grandmother that one day when I was grown and married, I would have a daughter and that I would name her, Ruby Elizabeth, after her. I promised to give my future daughter her entire name, not just pass down half of it like she did when she named my mother Nannie Elizabeth, or like my mother did when she named me Elizabeth Ann. I promised her that my daughter would have the exact same name as her.
Years later I kept my promise. When I took my baby daughter to see my grandmother for the very first time she was swaddled in a quilt that my aunt had made—her name clearly embroidered on the front of the blanket.
I am glad that I kept my promise to my grandmother and so is my daughter. She is very proud to carry on the name of her great grandmother.
There is one other person in my family who had the same name has my grandmother, but it was a person that I never knew. As strange as it may seem my father’s mother was also named Ruby Elizabeth.
My grandmother had other granddaughters and great-great granddaughter’s who share the name Elizabeth, but to my knowledge my daughter is only one who fully carries her name. My youngest granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth, is the fifth Elizabeth in my direct family line to be named Elizabeth.
For 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Prompt for “Same Name.”