what’s in a name?

My mother never bothered to remember my name.

It’s not that she couldn’t remember my name. She could list off her four children (only in order of age). She just didn’t think it was important which name went with my face.

As a kid, teenager and adult, my mother would look at me and say “S.J., Zeed, Lilac….what’s your name kid?”

As I got older, I was more often just called by my eldest sister’s name S.J.  Usually, I would correct her, “I’m Lyla. You called me S.J.”  She would never apologize, “At least I used a name that was close.” She would say, “Just get that blue serving dish from the pantry for me.”

We were all the same to her. The four of us. She was a different person with each of us. We got to know her moods and whims so well. We studied her. A look, a turn of the mouth, I knew what it all meant.

But she couldn’t be bothered to remember my name.

 

 

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