“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet (W. Shakespeare)
“I need to tell you something.” I started nervously as we were en route to meet this woman, our mother. “I want you to know that I’ve told Shirley that it was okay with me if she didn’t call me Megan and instead called me Bambi.”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Jesus, Megan. You know you aren’t Bambi, right? You know who you are, don’t you? Mom and dad gave you a perfectly beautiful name: Megan Carroll Koska. I don’t like it and I’m not going to like hearing her call you Bambi,” was my brother’s vehement reply.
Yes, Brother, I know who I am. This is not about me having an identity crisis at 31 because my birth mother has come back into my life. This is about recognizing that for 29 years she thought of me, prayed for me, spoke of me – as Bambi. It’s about realizing while a whole world of people were here calling me Megan, there was a whole world of people there calling me Bambi.
A few hours later, my brother and I sat across the table from her sharing stories from our lives. As he recounted a story, no doubt one about me bopping him over the head with something, he gestured in my direction and said, “M…B…uhm…her…”
“Ahem! Brother! Do not think for one single second that I did not notice that you just sat here and didn’t know what to call me.”
“I…just…didn’t know what to say.”
We all laughed and I thought, “I know, brother. I know. It’s not as easy as it would seem. Maybe we don’t know what we think we do.”
A few weeks later, I attended a soiree. It was a fancy pants party complete with hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour and a little black dress. At the dinner table were our name cards. Mine said:
In this circle of friends and family, I am known only as that. I am introduced as that. If you say Megan I assume you are speaking to someone else because in this setting, I don’t know a person by that name. Another family, another name.
So, yes, I know who I am:
Shakespeare was right. A rose is not a rose simply because it is called a rose.