Your Name

Dear Dorothy,

I love your name.  Your name was inspired by women of reality and fiction.  Women who I have admired and who I know you would have looked up to as well.

Dorothy is a family name.  It’s the name of your beloved great-grandmother; you would have known her as Gammy.  It was also the name of my great-grandmother and my great-aunt.  I didn’t know them well, but they were strong women.

Dorothy is a name full of character.  It’s the name of a girl from Kansas, who discovered a magical world over a rainbow but loved her home.  It’s also the name of a sharp-witted substitute teacher who discovered a magical world called Miami and the golden gals who made it her home.

Dorothy is a name that inspires women.  It was the name of a clever writer who made her mark in a literary world dominated by men.  It was the name of the first African-American woman nominated for best actress; decades before an African-American woman would accept that award.  It was also the name of a girl with big dreams who went on to win a gold medal at the 1976 Olympic games.

And, it’s your name.  I’ll never get to use your name the way I imagined.  I’ll say it in your memory, but I’ll never get to yell for you to come inside because it’s dinner.  I’ll write it in my journal, but I’ll never get to scribe it on a permission slip for a field trip at school.  I’ll hear others say it, but never as often as I had imagined.

But, with all that said, it’s still your name.  It’s the name your Daddy and I chose for you because we knew you’d be the best Dorothy of them all.


Your Mama


Photo by Carly Marie Dudley

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