I'm listening to "Once in Love with Amy" in honor of our newest family member, Amy Belle Mason Reidling. She was born yesterday (August 10, 2011) at 10:38 p. m. to Michael and Nicole Reidling of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Michael is my nephew, son of my late sister, Amy.The great-grandmother is Joanne Belle Cartledge of Middle Bass Island and Seville, Ohio. Mother giggled when I told her the baby's name, and she giggled again when I told her that the first time Michael saw Amy, he thought she looked just like Grandma. His grandma. My mom. Amy Belle's great-grandmother.
Her first-cousin-once-removed Jennifer wants to call her Maybelle. (She was surprised when I told her I didn't want Amy Belle to spend her life explaining that she was not named after Mother Maybelle Carter, the mother of June Carter Cash, the widow of Johnny Cash). Jennifer replied, (I'm paraphrasing) that only old people have heard of Mother Maybelle Carter and, besides, she doesn't care.
I myself shall call the dear girl Amy Belle because saying the name gives me enormous pleasure; as does seeing the name in print. Here it is in another font and color:
Amy Belle Mason Reidling
And I have just thought about my father, Douglas Cartledge, who died last year,and his response if he'd lived to hear the baby's name. First, I'd have bellowed the name repeatedly over the phone, because he had the hearing loss all World War II pilots suffered from flying without ear protection as a Navy pilot.
Finally, Daddy would have said, "Belle? Belle? What's Mary Jo saying?" and handed the phone to her.
Once he heard it, though, -- once he read Mother's lips as she repeated the name -- he'd have offered a slow, lasting smile; and an aura of contentment would have hovered
around him for weeks.