Mae Audrey Taylor was my grandmother’s name. I smile just thinking of her. I cannot put into words the kind of women she was. To keep it really short and simple, when I think of my grandmother, one word comes to mind, good. She had a really good heart. You could ask anyone who knew her what kind of person she was and they would likely say caring, kind, nice, giving, which are words all synonymous with good. My grandmother was a good woman.
Recently, a friend of mine told me that her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. As I digested the news and tried to desperately find words to console my friend, I thought of my grandmother. My grandmother had breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The latter, sadly to say, took her life in February 2006. I sat in my room earlier this week trying to possibly grasp how hurt my friend must be while also remembering the sadness I felt when I lost my grandmother.
My grandmother was the best woman I have ever known. She really was my super hero. With her, I was never lacking. There was never a time when I was with her that I did not feel safe. I started wondering what it was about her that made me look up to her with such esteem for 16 years of my life. I looked up the meaning of her name. Of course that was the most logical next step to research the history and origin of my grandmother’s name. (Please sense my journalistic sarcasm.)
I seriously do believe in the significance of a name though. I think people’s names have a lot to do with their personalities. People say words are powerful. Well, names are words spoken over and into a person’s life for their entire life. Names must carry some weight in determining a person’s character.
After I did some research, I found that Mae means ‘welcome’ and Audrey means noble strength. My instant reaction was “Woooow that is so spot on.” My grandmother was caring and giving to everyone she met. Whether she knew you or not, she loved with arms wide open. You always felt welcomed in her presence. As for her middle name Audrey, well that is my favorite part. My grandmother was a humble woman with a big heart. Like I said before, I always felt safe and at home in her presence. I felt protected. She had a strength about her that went beyond words. Everything about her spoke integrity, strength and humility. She personified the meaning of her name.
Remembering my grandmother is bittersweet for me. I miss her of course. I sometimes wonder if she would be proud of the 22-year-old woman that I have grown into and the person I am becoming. Deep down, I really think she would be. I smile when I remember little things about her or the memories we made together. I am so glad to have had her in my life. Although I miss her, I am just grateful to have had the time that I did have with her. It was so precious looking back on it.
At 22, I constantly feel myself changing and growing up in all the right ways. I think a lot about the woman and eventually wife and mother that I want to become. I now know. I want to be the kind of woman my grandmother was. My grandmother’s caring heart and her selflessness were her strengths. Most people look at vulnerability as a weakness, but my grandmother showed me that a tender heart is a good thing. It allows you to show others crazy amounts of grace when they don’t deserve it. It allows you to love when you have been hurt, to show empathy for people who are suffering and to be the person that helps heal others’ pain. I want to be a woman with a tender heart who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. I want to be selfless and caring. I believe a woman with a caring heart is a strong woman. I want to be the kind of woman my grandmother was, one of noble, loving strength.
What kind of woman or man do you want to be? Who inspires you? Feel free to comment below.