I was named for my grandmother, Mary Morris. Her father called her Mollie and that is what I was christened. I was born at the time when the names Barbara, Judy, Janet, Karen, and Kathy were popular as well as Susan and Carol. There were no other “Mollies” that I knew of and I was the only one in all thirteen of the schools I attended. Now Celtic names are more popular and so I often hear my name called out by a mom or dad. However, when I was in school there was never any doubt who was being called. My name seemed rather unique then and I have always liked it.
“Mollie” Morris was a lovely person, very talented and generous. She made dresses for my sister and I when we were young, as well as mittens and scarves. She was an expert cook and a hospitable hostess who never knew how many were coming to dinner, as my grandfather tended to invite strangers without much notice. During the war years in St. John’s Nfld. where they lived, he was forever inviting young homesick sailors and soldiers home for lunch or supper. My grandmother was an easy-going sort who would simply add another potato to the pot. She was dearly loved by her friends and neighbours for her lovely smile and kind deeds. She wrote volumes of letters to her two daughters, my mom and my Aunt Georgie (Georgiana) full of all her latest baking and stories of their home in Newfoundland. She made all her own slipcovers for the furniture and drapes for the windows. She also embroidered, crocheted and knitted. I only wish I had inherited her energy and talents.
Naming a child is a big responsibility. You want to give each child a name that is meaningful and pleasant to the ear, and you must be so careful that it is one that he or she will be proud to answer to. Last names are inherited of course and the pride in last names is something to be carefully guarded in each generation so that no lasting shame is attached to it. A first name is a gift from the parents and needs to be wisely chosen. My husband and I named each child before they were born so that we could say “Well, hello little …..” as soon as they were born. Some people prefer to save the naming until after they have seen their baby. Initials are very important as well – parents need to ensure that no embarrassing nick names can be made from them. Nick names will happen anyhow, but better it not be because a parent’s choices.
It is amazing to think that God Himself has a special name chosen for each of us. According to Revelation 2:17b “To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.” How wonderful to think that we each have a holy celestial name known only to God.
When I was supply teaching I had many little children in my care and getting to know and remember each name was hard. I was never in one class long enough to know every child. I doubt that I could recall any one of them now and yet God who has so many people in his care knows and remembers each of us. Even when our four children were small, I would sometimes have to go through all the names (including the dog) before I got to the one I needed.
How wonderful that God has a special name set aside for us in heaven. We will truly be a new creation there and yet still be ourselves – the best we can be. It is humbling to realize that we are so important to our Creator, just as each of our children is important to us. We know their strengths and flaws and they are all precious to us. Being a parent has strengthened my faith.