08. May 2013 · Comments Off on My Name · Categories: O.Naming, Out of the Blue

In numerology, the name one is given at birth as well as the date of one’s birth, are keys that unlock personal mysteries.  It seems arbitrary.  But then, too many things remain beyond my understanding.

In the psychic’s reading, she said that I (or rather, the shared spirit in a previous life) did not get the name I wanted.  I decided to ask my sister whether she remembered any ruckus over our names.

Oh yes, she said, our dad was furious at the priest who messed with her name.  Our dad had named her Gwendolyn.  At her baptism, the priest said that he had never heard of that name and that it was not Christian.   He asked if anyone objected to the name Fatima.  It happened to be a famous name at that time because of the appearance of Our Lady to the children at Fatima.  No one objected.

Our mom insisted on Gwendolyn at least as a second name.  The priest conceded, but he changed the spelling to Gwendolene so that it would be more similar to Christian names like Elena.

Our dad was outraged.  When it came time to name me, he said Doreen Cotton, and no second name to mess around with.  The priest accepted Doreen as a Christian name, but he insisted on a second name.  Our mother said to use her family name Jorge.

So I asked my sister, would there be a name that I couldn’t have been given?  She thought about it and came up with one name.  It was Edith.  Our uncle’s wife was Edith, who was widely thought of as the most beautiful woman in Macau.  He was head over heels in love with her.  Eight months earlier, Edith had given birth to their first baby girl.  My uncle had named her Edith, after her mother.  There was no other Edith in our family.  There was no way my parents would have named me Edith.

If they had, my name would have been Edith Jorge Cotton. (Jorge is pronounced George.)

Names are important.  In telling my story I try to use people’s real names.  Since this is about my own journey, not other people’s lives, wherever possible, I simply left out a name if it did not interfere with the narrative.  In a few instances, I change a name to protect a person’s privacy.  I realize that although someone may have had a negative role in my life they should not be seen only in that light.  But since this is not fiction, I do not try to go beyond my experience and speculate on anyone’s character.

There are no composite people either.  I write what I remember, as I lived the events.

Lastly, I have always had trouble remembering people’s names.  It is a fault I have to work hard to overcome.  There are people whom I remember vividly.   I can almost “see” their facial expressions and body language even now, but whose names have gone down the memory rabbit hole.

Comments closed.