Octa Maria

She’s been on my mind this week.  “Ninny”.  I wish I could have known her.  My mother tells me that she was so much fun to be with.

She was the mother of three girls… Wilma, Glenna, and Ola.  And these girls grew up with the delightful nicknames of Dude, Tean, and Jo.  I wish I knew how those names came about!  They were always Aunt Dude, Aunt Tean, and Nana to me.

Life moves in interesting patterns.  She has been on my mind because of her beautiful pitcher.  When I think of her name I sometimes grow very sad.  I have her obituary in an old album, cut out of the newspaper.  Her name was not mentioned.  She was Mrs. George Sweat.  She had the three daughters, and their names are not mentioned.  They were Mrs. W.S. Clary, Mrs. Mack Toliver, and Mrs R.L. Borden.  I loved all those men dearly, and I love being the wife of Gary Fields.  But sometimes I just can’t imagine an era when women’s names were left unsaid.

Last week my mother and I purchased a book at the Billy the Kid Museum in Ft. Sumner… “Pioneer Women”.  The introduction speaks of this beautiful photo on the cover.  The location is recorded.  The type of wheat is recorded.  The woman’s name is not.

I know my name is actually irrelevant.  What matters to me is having it written in the Lamb’s book of life.  I don’t even do a good job of remembering names, and I’m never offended if people can’t remember mine.  But I’m thankful to have this space to share my stories, my voice, my name with you.  Thanks for sharing with me!

5 Responses to “Octa Maria”

  1. Betty Williamson says:

    Another astute observation. I, too, am glad to be in an era when I am recognized with my own name. I think the pioneer women often had the far tougher job on the homestead, having to do everything the men did, PLUS bearing and nurturing the children. In the few photos that exist, the women look so worn to me, and small wonder. I am daily grateful that I did not have to be a pioneer woman, and I am also grateful to you for helping keep their memory alive.

  2. Sandy says:

    Betty, you would love this book. I’m only a few pages into it, and I’m fascinated! I’ve always loved the stories of the pioneers! I think I’m tough, and I think I could have done it… but… Yes! I’m grateful to live in this day and age!

  3. Marcea Clive says:

    Octa Marie is a beautiful name. I, too, am glad we didn’t live in the days of pioneers. Precious people who are responsible for where we are today.

  4. lawanda calton says:

    I have wonderful memories of my grandmothers….Nellie and Octa, how they looked as they told me of incidents in their lives. How they laughed and loved their families. Yes, they were both fun to be with….Ninny with her cameo brooch and Granny with her red beads!

  5. M. Sue Moore says:

    Most fascinating and something I’d simply not given thought to. It is unimaginable to me today, but you have set me to wondering if perhaps this is a part of why my own mother, born in 1904, found it so important that her name, Olla, be spoken succinctly (which almost never occurred) and spelled correctly (again, seldom done). It seemed folks took it for granted that Olla was a misspelling for Ola. While it was apparent to our family that the pronouniation rhymed with shawl-ah, it certainly was not obvious to the rest of the world! Mamma was so frustrated with it that she grew to dislike her name more with each mis-deed done to it! Our daughter called her Mimi and that name became her name!
    Sharing smiles~Sue

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