We are more than our names. We are more than our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents. But, their blood flows through our veins. And for most people, a list of names is written in their veins.
Last night, while mulling over the fact that I will soon have to revert back to my maiden name, I looked up the meaning of my last name. When I spoke with my mother, she informed me with little regard that I am not, in fact, a Manning. My grandfather chose a name entirely unrelated to him, or his family. What I have come to know about my lineage and history… is wrong. The person who I have been is based on a fabricated past. I understand his reason for it, and I am not angry at him in the slightest. I am more upset that I was never told this vital piece of information, that it was just assumed that I knew it already.
I have never felt at home with my name. My first and middle names are rather fitting but put together with my maiden name… it just never felt right. Now I understand why that is. In light of this new information, and with everything else happening in my life, I have made the choice to take a new last name. Just as my grandfather did, I will create a new legacy for myself and any future children. My daughter will continue to have my maiden name, in her grandfather’s memory and to carry on his own dreams, and my son will continue to carry his birth father’s surname. But I will no longer carry the Manning name, as it does not fit my soul and never has.
I do wish that the knowledge of my grandfather’s heritage had not died with him; I wish I had been older and had been given more time to learn from him. Perhaps then I would know the truth, I would know where that part of me comes from. Because, as of right now, I feel lost and partially empty.