Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What's in a Name?

We lost my dad in '91, and my mom in 2001, when Dylan was fifteen months old.

I think a lot about Mom and Dad. They weren't perfect, but I admire what they offered as parents, especially considering their growing-up years.

Now again, my mom wasn't perfect, but I think I was in the front rows when they handed out mothers. My mom was kind, patient, fair-minded, compassionate, and she had one of the most infectious laughs you'd ever hear.

She was hard-headed as heck, though. Good thing, or she would have been too good to be true.

About a year after Dad died, I stopped by one morning to have coffee with Mom.

I asked, "Mom, how did you and Dad decide on my name?"

Hal is my nickname. Harold is my given name.

Mom didn't hesitate. My sweet, kind, loving, almost too good to be true mom didn't hesitate.

She answered, "I never did like your name."
I said, "Huh?"
She repeated, "I never did like your name. Your dad marched in after you were born and announced that he wanted to name you 'Harold,' and I was in no shape to argue."

Stop laughing. It's not funny. Really. Stop laughing.


Debby said...

No. *snort* I'm am NOT laughing Hal. Really. *gasp*

I'm sitting here trying to imagine the look on your face when she utters these immortal words. the words that you will carry with your for the rest of your life, and I am not laughing at all.

Hal sure beats Harry. Saved by the nickname.

Annie said...

I'm not laughing. Really, I'm...excuse me for a moment.

Ok. Deep breath. Oh, heck with it. It's a funny story.

True Treasures said...

Oh, Harold....

I can see her telling that story, and I've heard it before, and it still makes me smile....

Pam said...

I'm not only laughing, I'm choking on Coke!!

That's a riot!!

You are a Hal. Looking at your photo, I'm not sure about a Harold.

Bob said...

Too funny. Harold. OMG,too funny.

Moms are great aren't they. I miss mine too.

Redlefty said...

If you only had a killer middle name like NightTrain or Blade, you could go with that.

Hal Johnson said...

"Harold NightTrain Johnson." Hm.

Roland said...

Hal is a great nickname, btw. It's one of those names that just shouts "good guy." A good choice.

Kelly said...

In defense of 'Harold'... there were a couple of Kings of England by that name (waaaay back) and I bet they were handsome, rugged guys.

But, I do see you more as a 'Hal'. (Even though I kinda like the sound of 'NightTrain Johnson'.)

Bob Devlin said...

It's a good thing my Mom was in shape or I would have been "Otto". So I'm not laughing.

Debby said...

I never thought of it, but Redlefty, what is Luke's middle name?!!!

Redlefty said...


All of men in Jamie's family have Lowell as their first name, and then they go by their middle names. Her dad's middle name is David.

So Luke and his grandfather will share middle names and also share initials.

Our middle son has the same initials as his mother.

Our firstborn daughter has the same initials as the... Shoppers Food Warehouse?