Until this week, I didn’t realize my grandmother’s name means star. I’ve been thinking about my grandmother a lot because she’s had a tough time lately. Living independently in a retirement community, she was moved to assisted living against her will. In protest, she pulled a Gandhi and stopped eating. She lost 17 pounds. (I wonder if that’s where I get my stubborn streak.) As long as I’ve known her, my grandmother has hated her name. She longed to be called a “pretty” name, like one of her five sisters (Catherine and Madeline were her favorites of her sisters’ names). As a little girl, I remember secretly agreeing–I wasn’t a big fan of Esther. This week, that all changed. I decided to re-read the history of my grandmother’s namesake. In the Old Testament, the book of Esther is the story of a young Jewish woman living in exile in the Persian Empire. Esther becomes Queen and saves her people from being annihilated. There is a ton of Jewish/Christian commentary out there, but I’m trying to stay away from the interpretations. The book of Esther is a clever little story, and I want to study it over and over again without outside influence. It’s a quick read (easily done in one or two sittings) with lots of discoveries and many messages within. Anyway, I’ve absolutely fallen in
love deep like with the name Esther.
One of my favorite short writing exercises is the name prompt. Spend 5 minutes writing about your name (or your mother’s name . . . or your grandmother’s name). What did you come up with?