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My first granddaughter was born two months premature. My son and daughter-in-law gave him my mother’s name as a middle name. She weighed two pounds six ounces when she was born. While she was in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, all the nurses stated that she was feisty and eager to live. This did not surprise me because she had my mother’s name.

My mother passed away in September 2006. She was a role model, a mentor, a confidant, and most of all, she had a passion for life. I miss her every day, but somehow I know that her spirit will live on through my granddaughter.

My granddaughter is home now and she is fine. This Christmas I decided to write and dedicate a poem in honor of my mother:

Ode to my granddaughter

Little girl, you are a miracle to behold. They gave you my mother’s name, but they still haven’t told you what a special person she was. But you have her struggle, her will to live, because, little girl, you have my mother’s name You have a great legacy and it should be your goal To honor your great-grandmother’s name We will remember her kindness in every way She is no longer with us, on earth, anyway But she is taking care of you every day See little daughter you have her name and you should always be proud and proclaim I have my great-grandmother’s name!

For Your Grandmother December 2008

By writing this poem, I was able to give not only my granddaughter a Christmas present, but also give myself the gift of documenting my love for my deceased mother. Christmas is a difficult time of year for those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one. How do we give a gift to someone who has died? We can give them a gift honoring her memory. This can be done by writing a poem, story, song, or recording an oral history of a special moment with them. Then giving one of the above as a gift to a family member makes for a special Christmas!

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