Where does "Kay" come from?
Short and simple answer: Kay is short for Kathleen, my middle name.
Long and detailed answer:
My paternal grandmother’s name was Kathleen, and she went by Kay. My mom may tell you that she thought of the name Kathleen as a middle name for me before she consciously registered that it was also her mother-in-law’s name. However, I firmly believe that it was God speaking to her, not-so-subtly placing the name in her head because He knew how much I’d need Grandma Kay with me throughout my life, close to home, built into who I am - beyond genetics.
My grandma Kay died when I was only 6 years old. For many, that may seem like a very short time for someone to make such a lifelong impact, no matter how familially close we were. But I spent a LOT of my time in those first 6 years with Grandma Kay. I slept over at her apartment regularly, she was the first to ever read me bible stories, she played board games with me and my brother, and she lived with us for the last 6-ish months of her life.
Grandma Kay, and her husband Gerard (my dad’s namesake) who died when I was only 6mo, were and still are the primary Catholic example in our family. Despite the short time I spent with her, she still inspires and leads me daily, both in faith and in life. She was the kindest, most genuine person I have ever known. She loved and trusted God with a fierceness that I am still, and likely will always be, striving for.
One of the little stories and/or quotes that has been told most about Grandma Kay was that whenever she encountered someone who looked like they were having a hard time, or who maybe wasn’t being too kind, or who needed some guidance, she’d say something to the effect of “You look troubled - I’ll pray for you.” So simple, yet so powerful. She had no shame whatsoever, and as far as I’ve been told, wouldn’t hesitate in saying this to anyone and everyone who needed to hear it. In fact, it may have even been said somewhat sassy at times - and that makes me love her and relate to her even more.
Needless to say, I am still learning and living by my grandma’s example, both in her commitment to the Lord in all she did, but also in her treatment of others. She is my earthly guidepost. For this and many other reasons, I wanted to honor and remember Grandma Kay through more than my name. Photography is my great passion, and one of the many ways in which I want God to speak through me, to touch others and be in relationship with His people. So it seems only right that she be a part of that.