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Five Last Names - Five Chapters of My Life

I love Friday evenings, all the stress of the week falls away as you walk to your car, and by the time you are home you feel a hundred pounds lighter. It's the weekend, and it's Five on Friday time! Join me if you like - make a list of any five things, any topic that comes to mind. 

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!

11 comments:

  1. A grand collection of names, Josie! I'm guessing that it might have been fun working out new signatures for each - I've had the same last name forever now and am still practising to sign things in a unique and pretty way lol

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    1. You made me think about that Bozo, and I realized that when I write each of those last names in script, I do it exactly as I did when I had that name, even though my handwriting has changed some over the years. I guess the way we write it becomes a part of the identity we associate with that name!

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  2. Although you seem to have had a few names, i'm glad that you've finally foung the one that you've been looking for. Funny, it's always in the last place you look. :)

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    1. found, not foung.... sorry.

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    2. I love that thought Ken... Papa Bear was indeed in the last place I thought to look... the right place... the best place!! I'm going to have to share that with him. :-)

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  3. Who 5 last names me I have only had to I went from a JJ to being JM my sister has a gone from SJ to being a SS then back to SJ and now is SR but when this divorce comes through she will go back to being SJ again......

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    1. LOL Jo-Anne! I kept my last names as I went along until I replaced it with another. It made things simpler than changing all the documentation for new ID's. I liked the names, each of them, I liked my mother-in-laws too, it was their sons I had some issues with!! ;-)

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  4. That is really cool and meaningful! I love your description of Fridays leaving work and getting home. Soooo true!

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    1. I like it too Kim, past relegated to the past, engravings left upon my life, but not defining who I am and how I live now! Ahhh yes,nothing feels better than going home time, everyone smiles as they are leaving :-)

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  5. What a fantastic story about all the different names that have played a part in your life. I loved hearing about it!

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    1. Those names and lifetimes seem so long ago now Selma, it's funny how we focus on the present and the rest kind of fades into the background, but that's a good thing, I am so much happier with my life and last name now, and espeically the man who gave it to me! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)