Naming our little girl turned out to be a little bit challenging...for me. Z was set on Zoe from the beginning, but I was texting him alternate suggestions basically up until she was born. Now that she's here, I can't imagine her as anything OTHER than a Zoe and I'm so glad we stuck with it. Zoe Marie. Zoe is all hers. But Marie she shares with her great-great grandmother on my mom's side.
We were very purposeful about choosing a family name, particularly from my mom's side, for two reasons.
1. Since Zoe gets the Landis last name, we wanted part of her name to come from my family...
2. and we specifically wanted to pull from my mom's side in order to honor my grandmother, my only living grandparent. She's 93 years old and she's amazing. Zoe is her first great-grandchild and that's a pretty big deal...telling my grandmother that we were pregnant was something that was incredibly meaningful to me. She's a wonderful grandmother and I'm so thrilled that she is now a great-grandmother and that we were able to give her that "great" title.
Anyways, we recently got a letter from my sweet grandmother and it contains precious details about my great-grandmother Marie that I previously did not know but that I am so excited to one to share with Zoe when we explain to her how we chose her name.
My grandmother writes:
"I am so honored to have you name Zoe after my mom...I hope by a miracle Zoe receives some of my mom's faith, her hope and her charity."
She goes on to say how over 400 people attended her mother's calling hours during a horrific storm 2 days before Christmas in Erie, Pennsylvania. This woman was loved and valued. She talks about how her mother was the first neighbor to welcome an Italian family to an all-German neighborhood, how she shared products from her garden, and how hard she worked until the day she died.
She also says: "she was gorgeous, witty, a great cook, loved to fish for frogs, took us camping every summer..."
Wow. Doesn't she sound wonderful? Hospitable. Kind. Generous. Hard-working. Adventurous. Strong.
I am thrilled to learn these details about my great-grandmother (who I never knew) and even more thrilled to hear how lovely she was. Zoe comes from a strong line of women on my mom's side...starting with my great-grandmother Marie, followed by my grandmother and then my mom, Zoe's grandmother. We hope and pray she too will develop these solid, wonderful traits.
The letter ends with this, possibly my favorite part: "she was fearless in the storms, the reptiles and the dark."
Zoe Marie, we hope you will live up to your namesake... a woman of faith, hope and charity. Fearless in the storms...the reptiles...and the dark.