The Family Name

The day I was born, my mother was a bit uncertain of choosing my name. She always tells me the story of how I was named Amy after a character in her (and my) favorite book, Little Women. It is also made clear to me that I was named Catherine after my mother, who has the greatest impact on my life. My mom was a smart young woman with many missed opportunities – for starters, her chances for college were slim because she and my father started a family early; I was born about a year after she finished high school. She received an Associate Degree in Science a few years ago and has a good job with the government. Before that, my mom juggled two small children, a job, and tried to keep a somewhat rocky marriage together. During my whole life, she has constantly reminded me of the love we share. A couple of years ago, as every parent does, my mom got a little teary-eyed when she began to realize I was becoming a young woman, as she once was. She began to tell me, between sobs, that she named me Catherine so that one day I could grow up and be everything she always hoped to be. She looked at me and said, “You are so much smarter than I ever was, and I don’t ever want to see you waste it. I am so proud of my little girl.” After these thoughts settled in my mind, I realized all the potential I have. My mom was my “extra little push” that helped me discover my goals, and how badly I want to carry them out; not only for me, but for her. I want to continue to make her proud, just as she makes me proud. When I was little, my mom used to say “What’s your name?” and I’d say, “Amy.” She’d then say, “Amy what? Of course, I’d reply, “Amy Powell” It was then that she would say, “That’s right. But what’s the most important part?” I would look at her and grin. “Catherine’s the important part, Mom!” –

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