20 February 2008

Happy 75th

Today would be my mother's 75th birthday. She passed away just over 20 years ago. She was the middle child of seven. My grandmother had three children in rapid succession (practically Irish triplets!) then a series of miscarriages and a nearly fatal ectopic pregnancy. Then, after my mother was born, my grandmother had a few more miscarriages until three more children joined the family.

My grandmother's mother died when my grandmother was only four and was named Catherine. When it came to naming my mother, the name Catherine was bantered about. My Swiss grandmother agreed to name my mother Catherine on the condition that she not be nicknamed at all. It was Catherine or it was nothing. My Irish grandfather agreed, albeit with a twinkle in his eye. So my mother was named Catherine Anne. It was only a short time later and my grandfather started calling my mother Nancy, which I am told is an Irish nickname for Anne. So, true to his word, he didn't nickname Catherine but did nickname Anne.

When my mother got to school, she wouldn't answer the nuns who called her by her given name of Catherine and would only answer to Nancy. Sorry grandma, they out-foxed you!

Happy birthday mom. May eternal light shine upon you.


gemoftheocean said...

My mother's name was Catherine. It's a very good name, as it's one that wears well no matter what the age. My youngest girl cousin on my mom's side bears her name. Both were/are nicknamed "Katie."

Nancy? well...It guess it's okay for Nancies. Kinda "modern" though.

swissmiss said...

It seems that every other generation in my family names their daughter Catherine...until you go back far enough and then there is a Cecelia that breaks the pattern. I'm not fond of the name Nancy at all. Neither is my brother. When I told him I was naming my daughter Catherine, he was afraid I was going to call her Nancy. No fear of that happening!

My aunt, mom's sister, wanted to know what nickname we were going to use for my daughter after she was born because we called her Catherine for a very long time. Hubby and I had planned to call her Katie, but I've been calling her Kate for quite some time now. I also spell it with a "K" and that seems to ruffle feathers since people think it should be spelled with a "C!"

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Nancy!