What’s in a Name?

IMG_85411Today is our daughter’s 26th birthday. I remember the process we went through in naming her. We gave our first son the name of Aaron Nathan. My father’s name was Nathan and Aaron went well with that name. Besides that, Aaron in the Bible was the voice for his brother Moses and with me as Aaron Nathan’s mom, this boy would have to be verbose.

When Emily came along, I knew we needed to look at my husband’s family for a name. “So what are all the women’s names in your family?” I asked Larry. Knowing most of them, I tried to search deeper into his family for a suitable fit.

“Grandma Froni, Grandma Zettie, Reba, Joyce, and Rema.” He stopped a moment and considered what he had just said. “We really don’t have to name her after my side of the family, you know.”

I knew better. “Okay, let’s work with middle names. Give me all their middle names.”

He only knew one. “Mom’s middle name is Joy.”

There was light at the end of the tunnel. “I can work with Joy. I’ve been thinking about Esther as a name…Esther Joy. What do you think?” Before he could answer, I was onto another option. “Emily Joy. Yes, Emily Joy.”

Larry approved, and we brought Emily Joy home from the hospital to meet her big brother Aaron Nathan.

The next day, Larry’s parents drove in from Kansas to meet their first granddaughter. I placed Emily Joy into Mom’s open arms. As she cooed to the small bundle, I asked the question. “Well, Mom, what do you think about having a granddaughter named after you?”

Mom gave me a puzzled look. “I thought her name was Emily Joy. How does that tie into my name?”

“Joy, Mom. Isn’t Joy your middle name?” It was not her middle name.

Immediately, I went to the garage where Dad was helping Larry fix the car. Their heads were under the hood when I asked the all-important question. “Honey,” I said, what is your mother’s middle name?”

Without even looking up, he said, “Joy.”

Dad chuckled. “No it’s not. It’s Janet.”

“Oh.” That’s all Larry could say.
In the end, it really didn’t matter. Mom knew I had tried to honor her, and Emily received a name that spoke to her character. Emily has always been our bundle of joy spreading cheer to all she meets.

Happy Birthday, to the soon-to-be Dr. Emily JOY Watters.

Categories Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: , , , | Posted on April 29, 2014

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  1. by Kelly

    On April 30, 2014

    Kayla Elizabeth is my first Daughters name. I wanted to name her Eliza Beth but could not get approval from anyone else. Kay is my mothers middle name and the la just completed the name for me. The fact I liked Eliza Beth opened the door for Elizabeth. When I found out that Elizabeth was Laura Ingalls middle name, then further discovered it was the confirmation name for my Husbands Grandmother, mother, sister and an Aunt on my side it sealed the deal.
    Kayla means pure and she does live up to her name.

    My grandmother was disappointed that I had not continued on with a family name I was given May (supposed to be Mae but Mom didn’t know that and Dad had left when the birth certificate got filled out.) so I promised her then that if God gave me a second daughter, her middle name would be Mae. My Dads middle name is Lee. My Great grandmothers name was and my husbands father was Charley… So we came up with Haley, note the spelling. This changed the meaning of her name to mighty and victorious. It is extremely fitting. During the pregnancy the doctor feared a miscarriage but mighty and victorious Haley Mae was born healthy and strong. And has a royal temper.

  2. by Judy Watters

    On April 30, 2014

    Haley Mae is a beautiful name. Hopefully you have written down the story of her name for her. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  3. by Allie

    On April 30, 2014

    This is the best story. Ever.

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