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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What kind of a name is that to give a child?

            “Miss Effie, your granddaughter is here to see you.”

            “Huh?” the little white-haired lady grunted, her eyes more or less focused on the plate of food in front of her. She was looking at it, but she had yet to lift a fork. She was one of the fifty or so residents of the nursing home who were in the cafeteria for lunch.

The food was particularly unappealing today; overcooked strings of dry turkey perched next to mushy canned green beans which nestled against a glob of what might have been yam before it had found itself in the nursing home kitchen.

“Your granddaughter is here to visit you,” the nurse repeated loudly.

Effie looked up and saw her goth-dressed granddaughter holding an 18-month-old boy. “Huh,” she grunted again. The granddaughter set the toddler down and bent to give her grandmother a hug. The residents and visitors in the cafeteria smiled at the little one toddling about, waving his hands with the pure joy of being alive. It had been a while since anyone else in the room had felt that way, but some of them thought they could remember what it was like.

“What’s the baby’s name again?” Effie asked her granddaughter.

“Bradyton,” her granddaughter answered, repeating the baby’s name when she saw her grandmother’s confused expression.

“Bradyton?”

“That’s right.”

“That’s a stupid name,” Effie announced to everyone in the room. “It’s no wonder I can’t remember it.”

“I like it,” her granddaughter protested. “It’s a nice name.”

“It’s stupid.”

“You’re a crazy old coot, Grandma,” the granddaughter laughed, picking up her son and plopping him in Effie’s lap.

Effie nodded. “Yup. But I’m your crazy old coot, so you have to love me.”

“I do love you, Grandma,” the girl said, “and so does Bradyton.”

The old woman grumbled, but her eyes sparkled with love and pride as she held her great-grandson on her lap. “It’s still a stupid name.”

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