My first granddaughter was born two months premature. My son and daughter-in-law gave her my mother’s name as her middle name. She weighed two pounds, six ounces when she was born. While in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit, all the nurses claimed she was feisty and eager for life. This was no surprise to me because she had my mother’s name.
My mother passed away September 2006. She was a role model, a mentor, a confident and most of all she had a lust for life. I miss her every day but somehow I know that her spirit will live on through my granddaughter.
My granddaughter is now home and doing well. This Christmas I decided to write and dedicate a poem to her in honor of my mother:
Ode to My Granddaughter
Little baby girl you are a miracle to behold
You were given my mother’s name but you haven’t yet been told
What a special person she was
But you have her fight, her lust for life, ’cause Little baby girl you have my mother’s name
You have quite a legacy and it should be your aim
To live up to your great-grandmother’s name
We will remind you of her goodness in every way
She is no longer with us, on earth, anyway
But she is looking over you every day
For you see little baby girl you have her name
And you should always be proud and proclaim I have my great-grandmother’s name!
By writing this poem, I was able to give a holiday gift not only to my granddaughter but also to give myself the gift of documenting my love for my departed mother.
The holidays are 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 by honoring their memory. This can be done through writing a poem, story, song or recording an oral history of a special time with them. Then to give one of the aforementioned as a gift to a family member(s) makes it a special Holiday Season!
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Annette Gonzalez

Annette Gonzalez is a lifelong Floridian and was raised in West Tampa, a Latin neighborhood. As a child, she was nurtured in this cultural environment and it influenced her desire to be a writer, speaker, and storyteller. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 1970 with a B.A. degree in sociology. She married Terry DeLisle and they have two sons, Jared and Jacques. In February 2006, when Annette struggled with coping with the loss of her mother, she began documenting her feelings. Five months later, her father passed away. This is when she began to write and speak publicly about her parents’ deaths. Annette believes that we need to treasure our parents while they are alive and honor them when they have passed.

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