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Saturday, March 3, 2012



A mother of all boys, I stopped dreaming about having a daughter after my fourth son. I didn’t intend to have any more children. But fate had other plans.
So when my daughter Shannon came along, my husband and I were ecstatic. The only problem was for the first couple of weeks, I kept calling my new daughter, “Nicole.”
The name just slipped out. It was the strangest thing. Even when I thought of Shannon, I would call her Nicole.
“I think we were supposed to name Shannon, Nicole,” I finally told my husband. “I keep calling her that name. I can’t seem to stop myself.”
“She’s got the right name,” he replied. “We didn’t even have that name picked out.”
But still I repeated the name over and over to my daughter. I was sure we had given Shannon the wrong name.
When Shannon was two weeks old, my mother dropped in for a visit. She sat and rocked my baby.
“I just wish my mother knew you finally had a girl,” my mother said to me. “Oh she would have been so happy for you.”
My grandmother had died a couple of years earlier. We all missed her. I would have loved to have told her about my daughter. My grand mom had known how much I wanted a daughter.
“Oh, by the way,” my mother said. “I left a baby gift on the kitchen counter.”
I went into the kitchen and got the present. It had pictures of yellow ducks on the wrapping paper. I sat by my mother to open it.
“Who is it from?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” my mother said. “I was cleaning out my closet, and I found it. I think it might have been from your grandmother and meant as a gift for one of your brother’s girls. But they’re all older now. So I thought you might as well have it. Open it.”
There wasn’t a card on the gift. But when I opened the box, a card was laying on top of the tissue paper. I opened the envelope and pulled out the card.
To Baby Nicole,
Congratulations on your new baby girl.
Grand mom, Cooper

A chill ran right down my spine. Nicole. I stared at the word. My brother’s daughters were named Kelly and Taylor. No one was named Nicole.
“Who is Nicole?” I finally asked my mother.
“I don’t know,” my mother said. “You’re grandmother was always getting everyone’s names confused. She must have gotten the name wrong.”
I opened the tissue paper. Inside was a pretty little sundress.
A smile lifted my spirit. I now knew why the name Nicole had laid so heavy in my thoughts. My grandmother was letting me know that she knew I had a daughter. Somehow she had connected to me.
After that day, the name Nicole disappeared from my thoughts and my lips just as mysteriously as it had appeared. But I have kept the card as a memento of the moment.
My grandmother had managed to give me a gift from beyond. A gift of love.

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