The truth is out; Ann is actually my middle name. Just call this the reveal all post!
Back in Catholic Elementary school we were assigned to do a research project on our baptismal name or saint name. I remember thinking of how I would have liked a more unique middle name, something with a little more pizzazz, sparkle and distinction to it. After all, it seemed everyone had the middle name Ann. Of course there were some exceptions of the girls with the really cool middle names that I didn’t even know how to spell. Mine was Ann, just Ann, ordinary and everyday Ann.
It wasn’t until I was a little older that I appreciated some of the significance behind the name; it is my mother’s middle name and my grandmother’s first name. Plus, you can bet I turned to good St. Ann while praying to find a spouse, “St. Ann, St. Ann, find me a man as fast as you can!” (and truth be told, she did!)
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the name has been in the family since 1722. Most of the Ann’s I know little about, except the name of their spouse, children and their journey to America. Some of the others I know endured great hardships and trials from a young age and yet still retained such joy and love of life.
Mother’s Day is a day to remember and honor the women in our lives who have inspired us, formed us and lead us. This Mother’s Day I think of all the Ann’s who have gone before me. The love, character and faith passed down through the centuries, brought over from another country and instilled in the next generation.
Ann may just be an ordinary name, but it’s thinking of the women in my family who have lived in such extraordinary ways that give me pride in carrying it forward.
Someday I pray to be able to give the name to my own daughter, because it’s so much more than an everyday Ann.