Thursday, April 5, 2012

A.K.A. Spigot

A while back my uncle sent me an email and in it he called me by the nickname he’d given me when I was a little girl, “Spigot.”  Weird name, isn’t it?  But his calling me that flooded me with such sweet memories, none that are distinct, just those that mesh together reminding me that once I was just a sprout of a child and that I was held dear in the hearts of family.  We often forget that as adults, don’t we? 

What does “Spigot” mean?  No, he didn't nickname me after a water faucet. 

My uncle has a great sense of humor; he jokes all the time!  If my memory is correct, Elizabeth, my grandmother’s name (and mine, too) is pronounced something like “Shpee-yet” in Polish.  I remember hearing that word repeated in our home.  My funny uncle took to calling me “Spigot”, aka “Little Elizabeth.” 

Grandma and her best friend, Rose. 
They spoke Polish to each other all the time.

My grandmother and me, 1975

That uncle moved on with his life, but whenever he saw me he would refer to me by his pet name.  Then, I grew up and away and it was many years before we reconnected and discovered our mutual fondness for one another even in adulthood.  He was the youngest of my grandmother’s ten children and even though he is lots older than me (maybe only a decade), he is more like a brother than an uncle.

Unless he happens to read this post, he may never know how he much touched me with his off-handed use of my childhood nickname.   Maybe it’s a good lesson for all of us to remember that no matter how old we or our children get, endearments are enduring.  Every now and then we all want to be reminded of a time when we were cherished.  So, the next time you talk or write to someone you loved as a child, refer to them by that nickname that reminds them just how special they were, are still are to you.

What was your Nickname?

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