Mother’s hand-me-down name gift from God

I have worn a hand-me-down name for a half-century.

My mother, whose dearest high school friend was named Janet, originally planned to bestow this badge of honor on her first-born daughter. Alas, 11 months before my sister was born, my paternal grandmother gave birth to her youngest daughter (her 10th child from a brood of 11) and named her Janet.

As my mother amusingly recalls with a hint of bitterness: “Your grandmother stole my name.”

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