So, what is the story behind my name? I will tell you what I know based on my mother’s telling of how I was given my name. My first name is Kathy. The story goes that my dad wanted to name me Ronnie. I was told that Ronnie was a popular girl’s name in the 1950s. My mother basically told my dad that to name me, Ronnie would be giving me a boy’s name, and she would not have it. Mom, on the other hand, wanted to name me Catherine or Kathleen. My dad thought that was far too feminine, and so they agreed on Kathy.
My middle name, Marie, has a far more painful history. My dad’s sister was named Marie. Marie married young and had a son who would later be my adopted brother Jimmy. Marie’s marriage was tumultuous, based on the stories that I recall. She and her husband would fight to the point of near divorce and then makeup; this seemed to be on a constant cycle.
After a particular painful fight between Marie and her husband, Tommy, they decided it was time to makeup. They were going to make this reconciliation a special one. They would have someone watch Jimmy overnight, and they would rekindle their relationship in a local motel. This seemed to be the perfect plan, but things don’t always turn out as planned. The motel they were staying in had a gas leak the night they were there. Marie and Tommy died in their sleep. Jimmy would go on to be my adopted brother. I would inherit Marie’s name as my middle name to keep the memory alive of a much-loved sister and mother that would be greatly missed in this world.