It’s Thursday, but Norm is still on a break, and I’m sticking with my no-Norm-no-doors decision. I’d also like a break, so I thought I’d warm up some leftovers. Not leftover doors, but a post that ran back in the early days of this blog, when only a few of you were familiar with me. Like good leftovers, I’ve added a few fresh ingredients and tried to make it look like a complete meal.
This is from 2013, back when WordPress had a daily prompt. I normally ignored the prompt, but this one – “Say your name” – was compelling. It brought me to one of my favorite stories about one of my favorite people, my paternal grandmother.
Sita, as she was known to all her grandchildren, emigrated from Syria to the US right around 1900. Her education was obtained hands on while: raising eight children, starting a business, helping her community build a church and surviving challenges that would have emotionally crippled most people (you can read about that, here). Like many immigrants during that period, she insisted that her children learn to speak English, but she never quite mastered the language.
By the time I was born, my grandmother owned a small apartment building outside of Pittsburgh, PA and both my father and one of his sisters lived there. Between the two kids, they had four children: Melvin, Bonnie, my brother Bruce and finally, me, the youngest child of her youngest child. My grandmother thought that people should honor God in their lives, and the easiest way to do that would be to give your children biblical names. Thus , “Daniel, like in the Bible.” Dan, Daniel, Danny to a few highly respected relatives and friends, it’s been a good name. The Bible character I’m named after was a hero, and while I’m no hero, the name has held up to that image.
Let’s face it, Nimrod was a significant character in the Bible too, but I think I’m better off with Daniel. I have never not liked my first name. I am not fond of my middle name, and our family name, depending on who is using it, either has a silent ‘i’ or a silent ‘o’ but I’ve only briefly toyed with the idea of changing that.
When I was about 8 years old, my grandmother went on a short vacation to Atlantic City, NJ. She wanted to bring something back for the four grandchildren that were also her neighbors, and she decided to get us sweatshirts with our names on them. These were handed out on her return to three curious faces, those would be “Brut” “Barney” and “Melbin” spelled just the way we could all imagine her saying their names to the sweatshirt man.
Of course, when she told him my name, “Daniel,” she added “like in the Bible” as she always did which guaranteed the correct spelling. We were all made to wear our gifts, as a gesture of appreciation, but I had no problem with that. My brother says he was OK with ‘Brut’ but I’m guessing Barney was a bit miffed.
No doors, but I did borrow a few more of The Editor’s pictures to mix in with mine.