Her Name is Maude

by John C. Westervelt

Over the years my weekly letter to my mother (now deceased) was addressed to Mrs. Ruth Westervelt. The one to my mother-in-law has always been addressed to Mrs. Charles Purnell rather than Mrs. Maude Purnell, because she told me on several occasions that she didnít like her name. To me, Maude is a pretty, old-fashioned name. Youíll have to hear Maudeís own story to understand why she doesnít like it.

Maude grew up on a farm near Covington, Oklahoma with three sisters, two older brothers, and two younger brothers. During the hot summer the farm house windows stood open to catch the breeze. One day her older brother, Wilber, standing in the backyard called out at the top of his voice, "Maude!"

As a young girl, there was a sense of excitement in hearing her name called by an older brother, so Maude ran outside to see what he wanted.

His response was, "I wasnít calling you, I was calling the mule." All of the brothers enjoyed a good laugh.

Today Mom is an active ninety-five year old, who still volunteers at Saint Maryís hospital in Enid. If Jesus forgave the brothers for the mule calling, and surely He did, then they are all in heaven. I do sometimes wonder if these brothers are struggling with some remorse (if remorse can be found in heaven) for having teased their little sister so long ago.

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