What’s in a Name


I was named by my Grandmother WillieAnn. She told me her reasoning numerous times. It appears she could always tell when she saw a little girl sitting quietly with grace that this child would possess her favorite name. She tested her theory she told me. She approached a little girl that was riding on the train one day. The girl had her hands folded in her lap sitting quietly with a little smile on her face. My grandmother approached her and asked, “What’s your name little girl?” The little girl looked up and replied in a sweet quiet voice, “Denise.”

Just as she thought and she placed that name on the soul of her first granddaughter. It almost worked too. Except my other grandmother felt left out and wanted to give me a name. So my mother in all her wisdom gave me the middle name Maranne. Consolidating Mary and Willie Ann into one name. When ever my Grandmother Mary would hear the name she would quip, “my name is not Mar, it’s Mary”. So for the first twelve years of my life whenever I was in trouble, which was often, my mother would yell, “Denise Marann/Mariann. And because of it I think the quiet part stuck but grace went out the window. I was nerdy, painfully shy and aloof as a child. I loved books, was tomboyish and a daydreamer. No one even called me Denise except my grandmother. I was simply Neice or Ne-Ne.

When I graduated high school I had to ask my mom to see my birth certificate because I wasn’t sure how my middle name was spelled and neither did she. Come to find out there was no y or I. I was a Maranne. A made up name. That’s when I dug deep into Denise.

Denise – Goddess of Wine I was told. I was a goddess and grace started to fall in place. I was suddenly articulate, sharp minded and my boney frame was filling in. I became a beautiful young woman and believed it too. Everyone called me by my name except my siblings. I had earned my grandmother’s blessing and when I heard her call my name emphasizing the “de”. I knew I have arrived at her expectation of me.

When I got to learn my soul urge and expression numbers and realized I had used my abilities in leadership and have truly been an inspiration to others i realized I was idealistic, highly imaginative, intuitive and spiritual. All the qualities that made me gracious. I had exceeded her desire for me. Every time she would announce me, “This is my granddaughter, Judge Denise.” I knew she was proud of the name she had chosen for me and I was equally proud I lived up to it.

Now the table has turned and I graced upon the soul of my first grandson Alexander. I hope the journey is easier for you and I will await for your arrival to it Alex.

9 thoughts on “What’s in a Name

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