It is customary in the Jewish faith to name your child after the deceased. Our first daughter Blanche, is named in blessed memory after my maternal Grandma Blanche. As the younger Blanche grows, we recognize that she shares similar connections with the deceased Blanche in their candid humor, a sweet tooth for cheap candy and a love of music. Grandma Blanche’s namesake helps keep my memories alive, from generation to generation..
Passing it Down – Tradition!
In celebration of Blanche’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah, my aunt and uncle gave Blanche a little box. When Blanche opened it, she saw something shiny. I saw it too. And, tears filled my eyes. I recognized the shiny bauble as my beloved Grandma Blanche’s initial B charm that she always wore around her neck. Over the years, I forgot about this necklace. But seeing the charm in the gift box reminded me of when I was a young girl, my Blanche’s age, and Grandma Blanche always wore the B hanging out of her shirt neckline. She draped the necklace over her cowl neck sweaters, she wore it with her bathing suit, she kept it on when adding costume jewelry to her accessories. Though, I don’t know the history behind the necklace itself, it brings back memories from my youth of time spent with her. And, despite such an unusual name, it is easy to lovingly recall why my daughter is named after my grandmother because it was her love, caring, generosity and time from my Grandma that helped shaped me today which helps shape my role as Blanche’s mom..
While we were standing around the bar waiting for our dinner table, I believe that Grandma Blanche was smiling down on all of us. Four of her great grandchildren, were inspecting this shiny treasure. One of the kids told me that I can wear Blanche’s B necklace too because B is also for Brody, though Grandma Blanche was not a Brody.
My aunt and uncle have their own granddaughters. For them to give my daughter the necklace means so much to me. I will wear my Grandma’s rubies to the Bat Mitzvah service and I am hopeful that Blanche will wear the necklace. The gems are materialistic but when we talk about L’dor va’dor, which literally means from generation to generation, the trinkets bring strong memories which link one generation to the next. Unfortunately, Grandma Blanche never met any of her 12 great grandchildren, but the kids feel like they know her from the stories, jokes and memories we share. Naming someone after the deceased, retelling stories, wearing inherited jewelry, etc helps keeps the soul alive from generation to generation, L’dor va’dor. Tradition! … cue the music from Fiddler on the Roof.