LOUISE: More than a name


This is a tribute page to my Nanny, Thelma Louise Thomas.  We never called her Grandma or the shortened version which my Mother goes by of Nana.

When I was a child and asked what does Nanny mean, my mother simply replied, “someone who takes care of you.”

From that point forward I never questioned the Nanny name again.  I did wonder why my Mom named me Kelsie Louise and not a more trendy middle name.  I was too young to appreciate the honor of being named after my Nanny.


Mom, Brad, Nanny and Latonya

My cousins must have realized how lucky I was to have a lasting piece of Nanny because they would tease me and call me Weezy.  Lil Wayne made that term popular in years to come but during the mid 80s I was so not feeling it.

Later in life, Louise was made popular by the hit show, The Jeffersons.  When I was referred to by my middle name I took it as taunting and still wasn’t feeling it.

Ironically, it wasn’t until my Nanny’s passing that I began to embrace Louise.  I was responsible for preparing her obituary which was three full,  double sided pages, printed on pale pink card stock.  During the listing of surviving family I was privileged to list my full name, Kelsie Louise Smoot. 

Although my Nanny is no longer with us, I have very fond memories of her.  She was classy and stylish.   Her favorite color was pink which passed from generation to generation. 

She was a long time member of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac,  MI.  Sundays were always eventful with embellished suits, pretty hats and the shoes and purses to match.  My Nanny knew fashion and how to accessorize.  She had personal shoppers in what we know as Macys but was Hudsons back in the day.

I reaped the benefits of her being a department store regular.  When the sales ladies found out I was her grand daughter, they would load me up with perfume samples. 

Nanny held her own as the head of her household.   I never met my Grandfather because he died from injuries sustained in a fire.  My Nanny kept a clean house and I loved her cooking.  Her favorite restaurant was Chi Chi’s, a Mexican chain which has gone out of buisiness.

Nanny’s garden was in full bloom every spring with tulips along her back fence that greeted me at eye height as a child.  One of my fondest memories was planting annuals in her front yard for Mother’s Day.  I worked all day making sure her home was the prettiest on the block.

Nanny passed at her home from natural causes at the age of 93.  Mom and I had stopped by to visit and I remember feeling comforted in her presence.  We left and later that night my Mom received the call that Nanny had taken her last breath.

Nanny forever lives through her love and wisdom she shared and passed on to others.

So there you have it.  Kelsie Lou is more than a name.

The purpose of this tribute is to acknowledge a vital person in my life.  My wish is for all readers of this blog to stop and give thanks to that key person in your life.  Give a person their flowers while they are still living.  If that person has passed on, let your lifestyle and values reflect the positive qualities you were taught.


17 Responses to LOUISE: More than a name

  1. brooke says:

    Girl you know I’m a big softy and I teared right on up. That is soo touching and sweet. Now I wish I were named afterr my grandma


  2. Alice Smoot says:

    All I can say is “what a lovely tribute to your nanny”.


  3. cardamone5 says:

    I love your tribute to you Nanny. I love the pictures, especially of her handwriting. I love your memories of her on church days and her style. Perfume samples? Awesome!

    And, I so agree how important it is to honor people that are in your life now because, you never know what will happen. Every Christmas, birthday, Easter, Mother’s/Father’s Day, whatever, give thanks that we are able to shower our loved ones with gifts because it is a privilege we will not always have.

    If you haven’t already, check out my post “Happy 69th Birthday, Mom”, which can be found under my blogs section, way down. It has a similar honorary tone as this post.

    I will think good thoughts for your Nanny, and for you.

    Oh, and thank you for following my blog.

    Best regards,


  4. cardamone5 says:

    You too!


  5. Kennedy says:

    I was just plunkin’ around on the net and bumped into your blog. What a wonderful tribute to your namesake. She was beautiful as are you.

    I give you kudos for keeping a wonderful blog with your memories.


  6. shunpwrites says:

    I love This! It is my fervent belief that we should pull out all of the stops in honoring those shoulders that we stand on, I applaud you sister!


  7. Sonia Stalance says:

    Hi Kelsie,
    Nice write up about your grandma, I loved it.
    I enjoyed reading some of your posts, your blog is pretty good.


  8. Kelsie Petersen says:

    Well now, isn’t your name just the best!? I, too, am a Kelsie Lou(ise), also named after my grandmother, though Louise was her middle name…her first name was Ethel….Kelsie Ethel doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, ha! Cheers to the Kelsie Lou’s in the world ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelsie Lou says:

      Hello, Kelsie Louise!!

      As a child, I hated the spelling of our name. It was impossible to find stickers and key chains with the “ie” spelling. The “ey” seemed to dominate the Kels.

      Now, I really appreciate the uniqueness and thought into Kelsie. It makes us stand out more!!


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