Every Name Has a Story


What’s the story behind your name?

We’d love to hear your story

Many years ago I was at a meeting and the icebreaker was to tell the story of how you were named. I thought I’d hear a lot of “I was named after my grandmother” accounts but actually most stories were complex and held sentimental meaning for the recipient. One woman was named after an Olympic ice skater who earned a gold medal the year she was born.

Mine story is pretty straightforward. My parents were text book Catholics and followed the tradition of naming children after saints, apostles, people high up there in the holiness roster. My older sister was named Ann (after the blessed Mother’s mother) and I came next so naturally Mary (The Blessed Mother) was the right choice. I loved to tease my sister and tell her she should have been born second because Mary got a lot of press and still does. In my high school class there were something like eight Mary’s - Mary Pat, Mary Jo, Mary Frances, Mary Ann, etc. but I was just plain Mary. I didn’t think it was special back then but I have grown to love my name, as simple as it is. Besides, there is an awesome drink named after me that challenges mixologists to compete for the perfect Bloody Mary.

What’s your story? We’d love to hear it.

mary van hielLove2 Comments