This is my namesake. Well, she is one of them. My mother didn't expend too much creativity in naming me, but I don't mind because of the sentiment behind my name. She used the middle names of the women present at my birth for my full name. My first name comes from my grandmother, my middle from the woman who became my godmother-- my mother's best friend.
I received my middle name from my godmother. It is the name she goes by, the name that she uses for much of her published academic work (she's kind of a rock star in her field), the name that only my Smallgood Pop can get away with calling me. Short, sweet, and permanent.
She inspires me. She has traveled all over the globe. She started my postcard collection by sending postcards to me as a child. They are stamped and marked from Kenya, Spain, Australia, and dozens of other countries. Each one with a loopy handwritten message wishing me happiness and nice weather and asking about what stories I am writing (she was always curious to know what my hobbies and interests were). She is planning a trip to Wales and Scotland in the near future. I am jealous.
She is a dancer. In her late 50's, she's often the oldest student in her classes, but she continues to practice ballet (including pointe!). She says that every year it gets harder, but she loves it. She started dancing after my mom gave her a coupon for some classes for her birthday (over 30 years ago!).
My godmother was in town a few weeks ago for a conference. It had likely been over 12-15 years since we had last seen her. One of my co-workers joked that we had a lot to catch up on-- the entire decade of the 2000's.
But like any great friendship, conversation is never stunted or held hostage by time. Absence is forgiven with shared memories of laughter and youth. There is an ease in old friendship that is unburdened. It is an enviable relationship that I hope to live to experience. It is inspiring to witness a relationship that endures with such sweet, genuine care.
**Confession: I was probably in middle school before I figured out that Lucille Ball had red hair. You can't blame me too much; I Love Lucy is broadcast in black and white. I assumed she was a blond. ;) So even though, these photos are in black and white, trust me that my godmother is a red head.
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