What is in a Name

January 19, 2009
By Anonymous

In Greek my name means Light. In Spanish, it is always spelled wrong. It means random, it means easy going. It is like a speed bump. A drumbeat. It is late night talks, like summer rain.

It was the offspring of my mother’s middle name. She was young like me once-full of promise and hope and an unconquerable spirit-but not so much now. I will be different though, not lose that Light.

My mother. I would like to be able to do the things that she has, have the strength to do what she does, but not how it changed her. Dimmed out that light. Maybe not just like that, not a flick of a switch. A slow smothering of a candle.

And the story goes she gave all she had to her children. She looked out the window and wondered where her life went. I wonder what will be left, and if it is still all worth it to her. Elaina. From Elaine. I have changed her name, made it my own.

At school they always second guess my name as if they are sure they pronounced it wrong. But to those that are familiar with it, it is softer and sweeter, Lena, yet not quite as sweet as my sister-Meliessha- who is more loving than me. Meliessha who is called Meesh or Melie or Monkey. But I’m content with Elaina.

I wouldn’t like to baptize myself under a new name; this one suits me, telling a little but not too much. A piece, but not the whole puzzle. Though maybe I’d be Anika or Elise or Macy. Or maybe, just maybe Elaina will do.

The author's comments:
Inspired by The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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