49 Comments
Mar 18, 2023Liked by Holly Rabalais

Very sweet! I love how you weave through generations past and future.

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Oh I LOVE these baby pictures Holly. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

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I could have used an Aunt Thelma in my life. She sounds like a wonderful person. Love Ayah. Beautiful meaning and name. When I am blessed with grandchildren I will be Safta. It’s Hebrew for grandma.

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Mar 18, 2023Liked by Holly Rabalais

Oh, this was so precious to read! Congratulations to your family! And the photos are so cute!!

We call my maternal grandmother "Mimi". Where did that come from? No clue, I guess I just made it up when I was a baby and it's stuck. My grandmother was the first love of my life and EVERYONE knew about her- including my classmates and casual acquaintances, I talked about her so much. My parents were even a little bit jealous, they once said to me "Mimi this! Mimi that!" I remember the first time I met someone with the first name Mimi, my first grade teacher, I was shocked. How could someone else have that name??!!!

Mimi is declining with dementia now. It's been a pretty tough year, but this was such a warm reminder this morning, I felt it in my heart as I read! As a child she was my sun and moon, the world revolved around her and her love. It's a privilege to be able to give that back to her as she ages. How lucky are we!!

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Mar 18, 2023·edited Mar 18, 2023Liked by Holly Rabalais

Your comments about Hope brought tears to my eyes — my first baby, my niece, was also my introduction to something bigger than myself, and outside of the births of my own children, the day she was born was the best of my life. I became a great aunt two weeks ago (different niece, one I gained by marriage and haven’t known since day one), and it brought back all the excitement and intense love I’ve felt for each new niece and nephew, babies that were (and still are) somehow not mine but also mine. Thanks for this post, Holly — you captured something deep and lovely here.

(My kids call my mom Little Grammie. We think this began to distinguish her from my grandma — as in, their great-grandmother was/is the “big” grandma, making their grandmother the “little” one. From the very first moment, it stuck. They call my dad Pépé, which is what he called his French-Canadian grandfather. They call my mother-in-law Gran and my father-in-law Pop. There are no greeting cards for any of these names but I can’t imagine any of them being called anything else — they fit, full of love.)

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This is great. So many people have an Aunt Thelma and it is amazing to SEE them and finally see what the lesson was. Well done.

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What a beautiful post Holly and in time for Mother’s Day here in the UK.

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What a great post! I actually had an Aunt Thelma, nice lady, but not someone I spent much time with. My grandparents on both sides lived far away, so I only saw them a few times in my childhood before they passed. I hope to be lucky enough to become a grandparent. Love the name Ayah! Beautiful!! 💜

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Such a beautiful, beautiful, post, Holly - I loved every word. Ayah is such a beautiful name - and, indeed, identity. 😊

We had Granny and Grandfather, and Grandma and Grandpa. Many grandmothers over here are called 'Nanny', or 'Nan', but the 'Nannie' in our life was no blood relation; she was the family's nanny, employed when my dad's half sister was born. A half brother followed. Later, my dad was born on Nannie's 31st birthday, and she continued living with and working for the family until Dad was sent away to boarding school aged eight. She was involved anew with every time a baby came along for the next generation, too, and remained a much-loved part of the family for the rest of her life. She never married but always said she had three families: the one she'd come from, ours, and her church family. She and Dad absolutely adored each other. She died some years ago, on her - and Dad's - birthday.

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Thank you for sharing your life with us in this beautiful way. Sending lots of positive vibes your way! 😀

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Mar 19, 2023Liked by Holly Rabalais

I loved this story Holly and the photos to go along with it. It warmed my heart! Love to you, baby Wesley and his parents, too! xoxo

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Mar 19, 2023·edited Mar 19, 2023Liked by Holly Rabalais

Congrats on the new addition to the family!!

After my dad passed away, my grandma used to come and stay with us quite a lot. I never had a name for her, but everyone in the neighborhood called her "Rossini" after the Mrs. Rossini character on "Who's The Boss?"

Her real name was Rose, and she kinda looked like the actress, so it fit. When she passed away in 2021, people from the block still used that name in their condolence messages to me. lol.

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My mom remarried right before I turned nine, and my stepdad was a wonderful man. I loved me and raised me as his own, which is something I needed, even though my biological dad was still around. My positive relationship with my stepdad also made me open to marrying someone who came with kids. That didn’t happen, though my husband had been married before.

As for me, I’m Auntie to a lot of kids, and I have a couple friends -- chosen sisters -- who are auntie to mine. “Auntie” came from my close friends from college who were Polynesian and from Hawaii. Growing up, “Auntie” is what they called their elders who were not related, out of respect (ie not using first names).

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My maternal grandmother was everything to me which is why I also write about her. That’s a special bond.

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“the murder of her biological mother”

Hope and I have this in common and I wish her well on her healing journey. This is a beautiful family narrative. Thank you for sharing.

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"Ayah" is so lovely to say aloud. I don't imagine I will ever be a grandmother, and I'm okay with that. I am stumbling along through being a mom. I do love hearing the stories of others. It adds to my internal well of understanding, and it feels so good to me to feel happiness for others. It's part of my lifeblood.

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