Namesake

I recently read an incredible essay about namesakes by my friend Toni.  It’s a fascinating look at the way names move through families and the weight they carry.  And an exceptionally lovely piece of writing to boot.  A must-read for your weekend.

My Aunt Helen wasn’t related to me biologically. She was my grandmother’s childhood friend. My sister Helen shares no DNA with my mother’s beloved Aunt Helen, but still Mom loves to talk about how similar the two of them are. She believes that in naming my sister after her aunt, there was an alchemic effect that endowed my sister with the personality traits of her aunt. Many of us believe in something similar. We want to believe in it. We revel in those moments of discovered similarities between the older relative and the namesake. We are triumphant, for we have discovered a kind of immortality.            – Toni McIntyre

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