So, I was in Sam’s Club the other say, and I bumped into some old friends of mine…Eileen and Doug. Now when I say they’re old friends of mine…I mean we go waaaaay back! I’ve actually known Doug since I was a toddler (maybe even a brand new baby, but I can’t remember that far back), and I’ve known Eileen since we were teenagers…before they were ever married…so it was fun to bump into them in Sam’s Club, you know?
Well, as we were standing in the aisle, Eileen (in her very excited, bright, beautiful, blue, wide-eyed, with super long eyelashes way, announced that she and Doug will soon be grandparents! Awesome, right?!?! Anyway, as Eileen and I are jabbering away like Chip ‘n’ Dale about the wonderfulnesses of being Grandmas, I glanced over to see Doug gazing off into space. He had a smile on his face and it was obvious he was reminiscing about something.
So, I asked, “What are you thinking about, Doug?”
He smiled and said, “When my parents brought Tim home as a baby, Randy and I wanted to name him, Lassie.”
(I’ll pause for some background: Tim is Doug’s little brother and also the member of Doug’s family that I knew best growing up. He was the “hot guy” when I was a teenager and had a fabulous sense of humor! Randy was the brother between Doug and Tim, and he passed away oh, so many years ago…Leukemia, I think…and I still remember how heartbreaking his loss was for everyone who knew him…especially his family…especially Doug.)
But back to the story: So Doug says, “When my parents brought Tim home, Randy and I wanted to name him, Lassie.”
“How cute is that?!” I responded.
Doug then said, “My parents suggested, ‘How about we name him Timmy, instead?'”
The three of us enjoyed a few more moments of pleasant conversation, and we parted ways. But even though my visit with Doug and Eileen was brief, it stuck with me all day long…and for several reasons:
One reason was that I was just so delighted by the story behind Tim’s name that I giggled and smiled off and on all day about it!
Another reason was because it made me start thinking about how I got my own name, and how Kevin and I decided on the names for our three kids…as well as how our kids have chosen the names for their kids! I LOVE name history! I find it fascinating!
In truth, however, the biggest reason Doug’s story about how Tim (almost known as, Lassie) got his name stuck with me, was because of the expression of far off memory and love for his bothers that was on Doug’s face and reflected in his eyes when I glanced to him to see him slightly grinning as he reminisced. I won’t go into my feelings on the matter…because I’ll start bawling if I think about Doug’s family and their loss of Randy AND Doug’s littlest brother, Sammy, some years later. Therefore, I’ll just focus on the first two reasons I mentioned the brief, but fun, reunion with Doug and Eileen…NAME HISTORY!!!!
I just LOVE to hear how people got their names! I read a Facebook post once where a lady was going off at people for naming their daughters Elsa after Frozen hit so big. I couldn’t believe how critical she was about it, and kept thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Needless to say, I nearly busted a gut when I read one of the comments: “We named our son, Scott…because it was the name on the paper towels in the bathroom in the hospital when he was born.” Excellent! Ha ha! I LOVE that!
Anyway, just for fun, I’ll share a couple of Name History things with you:
My name: My mom wanted to name me Sabra…but my Dad won out, and this is what he wrote to me last week about my name: “Marcia Shradle…she is the daughter of a Milking Shorthorn breeder who is long gone now…She sent you a book when you were little. Your mother and I liked the name. Lynn is a name we both liked so both of you girls have the middle name.”
And it’s true! Marcia (MAR-see-uh, or as I pronounce it, Mar-SEE-uh) DID give me a book…Kindness is a Lot of Things. It’s a beautiful little book that I treasure to this day! I can still hear my Mom reading it to me when I was little, little, little…and I really DO think it helped shape who I became…how I think about others and how I value kindness. I just love this little book, and I don’t think it was until just a few years ago that I connected the book with the woman who shares my name! I mean, how cute are the illustrations? ADORABLE!!! And the message is priceless, timeless, and I wish every child could’ve grown up with this book and its, simple, but profound message! I’ve always been thankful for Marcia Shradle for giving me this beautiful book! I mean, really…how truly kind, right? Like it could be a page in the book…“Kindness is giving a little baby girl a book that she will love her entire life.”
As far as my middle name, Lynn…boy, oh, boy was it popular in 1965 (even earlier and later)! Not only is my sister’s middle name, Lynn, as well…but two of my bridesmaids and very best BFFs to this day have the same middle name: Alphabetically by first name, Amy Lynn and Bobbie Lynn! So actually, in this snapshot from my wedding reception, 4 of the 5 of us share the middle name, Lynn! AND my BFF Sandy, actually has a daughter with the same middle name, but spelled just a little differently. My sister-in-law has the middle name, Lynn…Kristi Lynn! My dear friend, Sheri, is Sheri Lynn! And the list goes on!
Anyway, that’s the story of my name. As for my kids’ names:
My daughter, Sandy Ann: Sandy-named after my BFF (and bridesmaid), Sandy! Ann-I hadn’t read Anne of Green Gables yet when she was born, or she would’ve had an “e” on the end of “Ann”…but Kevin just popped out “Ann” on a whim and we loved it! Everyone called her “Sandy Ann” for years, too! But as she grew up, and we moved to the Pacific Northwest, it became shortened to, Sandy. (Although her Aunt Kim still calls her, Sandy Ann, sometimes and I love it!)
My oldest son, Mitchel Lee: Mitchel-Kevin and I were married the year Mitch Gaylord was part of the Olympics Men’s Gymnastics Team in 1984. Then we saw him in a totally rad 80s movie entitled, American Anthem, and decided we liked the name, Mitchel or Mitch. We spelled it with only one “l” at the end because his middle name is “Lee” and we thought three “l”s in a row looked weird when it was written out (not that he ever has written his full name, Mitchel Lee Meyers very often throughout his life, but still). His middle name, Lee, is after…you got it, Robert E. Lee…a little family history thrown in because of Kevin’s southern birthplace and upbringing!
My youngest son, Trent Adair: Trent-The first few months we were married, I worked for a dentist as a receptionist. One of our patients was a boy named, Trent Dimas. (He had really nice teeth!) Ten years later, Trent Dimas won an Olympic Gold Medal on the high bar in men’s gymnastics. Thus, Kevin suggested we name our second son after an Olympic medalist like we had our first (and I even KNEW this one)…and we both loved the name, Trent! Adair was my contribution…being an ancestral name in my family…Sarah Ann Adair, my maternal 3-greats grandmother, who was a baby when her mother was trudging along the gruesome Cherokee Trail of Tears. So Trent’s middle name is very meaningful to my own family history.
Okay, I could go on and on and on about name history…but I know this blog is already 853 times longer than most blogs…so I’ll get to the contest stuff now! FUN!
First, my last blog contest for the Georgette Heyer books had 5 winners (3 books each) and it was STILL hard for me to choose the winners! Ugh! Here are the 5 winners: Jennifer H., Darlene W., Alysa L., Karen C., and Kelsie N. I e-mailed all you winners and most of you have books on the way, but I haven’t received Kelsie N.’s shipping address yet…so if you’re out there, Kelsie N….e-mail me at email@example.com so I can get your books shipped off to you, okay?
As for this week’s contest…yep! You guessed it! Post a comment here (preferably), or on Facebook, Goodreads or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me the story of how you came to own YOUR name! If you don’t have a story, make one up (and be sure to tell me you’re making it up)! Either way, I’ll choose 2 winners next time I blog, to receive copies of this darling little children’s book I recently discovered: Our Tree Named Steve! It’s adorable! A little bittersweet, but adorable!!!! And I love the way the tree got his name, Steve!
Comment away, because I can’t wait to hear your name histories! ESPECIALLY if you’re named after paper towels in the hospital bathroom or something!