Five Last Names - Five Chapters of My Life
On my ankled there is a tattooed bracelet bearing the initials WJHBHT. Now it is a testimony to my past, a statement of who I was and where I've come from.
The first letter - W, represents my real-life given name. It's common, but unimportant to us here, since I go by Josie.
The second letter - J is for my middle name which is actually Jo - hence Josie :-) It is interesting to note that Papa Bear's mother was also called Jo!
Then comes a series of last names, five to be exact....
H - my family name. A family name, a name coming from my German ancestry and bearing ten letters. It was cumbersome, didn't fit in the blanks on school papers, and took to long to write. Where I grew up in the Midwest, German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Polish last names were common, so it wasn't thought all that strange. For anyone not familiar with those cultures it was a mouthful. I don't want to include it here, since this is a public blog and it's already easy enough to identify me, but if you are totally curious, drop me an email and I'll share.
At nineteen I married my first husband, in part to escape the control of my father, and also to acquire a shorter last name. :-) The B stands for Bruhn. Also of German origin, obviously. My daughter was born of this marriage.
The next H is for Hammond, my second husband's last name. An English name, though he was half-Italian and carried those traits strongly. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, but I actually met him in Germany. My son was born of this relationship.
The next last name I acquired was Trevino, more correctly written with a tilde over the n, and pronounced with the Hispanic rolling of the n-o. My ex was raised in a Spanish speaking home by his grandparents, and learned English as a second language in school, though he rarely spoke Spanish as an adult. A very common name in these parts, but not where I was raised. My parents thought it very foreign, but I liked it.
Now I have a new last name, and curiously enough it's come back to H, in the form of a common name of Scottish/Irish origin that I love as much as I do the man who gave it to me! So once again, as they were in the beginning, my initials have come full circle back to WJH, and that way they shall remain for the rest of my days! :-)
Papa Bear's initial is not on the ankle bracelet, it was done before his appearance in my life. I am glad, as he is so different from the men whose initials are included there, and he has changed my life so dramatically. That is the past, he is my future! I have a special place reserved for his name to be inscribed, it has remained untouched, a clean slate waiting for it's ink to come, on my upper left arm, very close to my heart!