Many people have family names. Brother 1 had the luck of being the fourth to share the same name in the family. He always said that when he has his first son, that child will be the fifth. I did not get officially named after anyone. My mother wanted to name me Elizabeth however, my father wanted to name me Katherine, possibly after his sister, I’m not totally sure. My mother did not really want that so rather than me being Katherine, she wrote down Catherine. There hadn’t been any Catherine’s on her side of the family in recent history so it was a name all my own. On my father’s side, there was my aunt and me (despite the spelling difference which I think some people still forget about).
As a kid, spelling Catherine took forever to learn. I had to come up with a mnemonic device to remember all nine letters. “Cat – her – in with an e” was what I had to say in order to remember it all. Thankfully, my mom insisted on calling me Cathy. It was much easier to spell at least until the 8th grade when I had a total identity crisis. All of a sudden I was tired of spelling my name Cathy and tried to convince everyone that I was now Cathie. For some reason, I felt that had more personality and that name was more true to who I was. It was a bit ridiculous though because after I got everyone I knew (except my Mom) to use the new spelling, I decided that I didn’t want to use it anymore.
It took some time for me to not hate the name Catherine. It was just so proper and felt like such a grown up name. Now that I am a grownup (technically in age only), I appreciate my name. I have a grownup name, nicknames, and I feel like it suits me now. I feel like I can handle the strength that comes with that name.
This post is part of the June NaBloPoMo. The theme this month is “Roots.” Today’s prompt was “Are you named after someone on your family tree? Tell us about that person.”