Holidays always carry an energy of remembering. This season included table talk with my mother, the heroine, of many sad and ugly tales…her memories of life from a darker side of life. I know few whose life embodies “survival” as hers does.
The tales, however, have left me grieving a heritage of pain. I am most sickened by tales of my middle name. I learned I am the name sake of a Jane who guised humiliation and murder with postures of rescue and embrace. I am that Jane who battled for a baby not mine by stealing from a mother in a court of law, that Jane who arranged a drowning at birth to hide the shame of a holy seed in a less holy womb, that Jane who welcomed only to the basement the lesser ones in the unsanctioned family tree.
I have asked myself this new year, “who am I really?” What does the power of my name speak in the circles of life? What part of this heritage have I carried to daughters and granddaughters? How can I redeem time in my life as Jane?
I will start by saying I prefer the name Lolly.