I wear my name as a locket around my neck

My name was a gift from my parents, honoring my maternal grandmother

She was a strong woman

Ask me to shorten my name and I will give you the first half of it

If you ask me to make it easier for you, you’re asking to betray the memories I have left of her

Her laughter left when she took her last breaths when I was a freshman in high school

I only noticed my family calling me the shortened version of our name, Ains, after she left us

Each day I keep living I am honoring her memory

She was never far from her knitting, she died with it in her hands

She was an artist – a painter

The paint stains littered on my clothing are the photograph kept in that locket

Don’t ask me to make my name easier for you to digest

There is more to it than a string of syllables


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