Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father – John 14:9
When I think about the use of names in my family and focus on just the Wilson side, it is impossible not to notice that some names play a starring role in my family’s story. Starting with the first ancestor of whom I have information and progressing forward four generations, I count two appearances for the names Bernard, Thelma, and Mildred; and three for the names Benjamin, Henry, Ernest, and Ethe[i]l; and four for James.
These are names of individuals who died too soon, important personalities, matriarchs and patriarchs. They were pulled from the archives, re-purposed and infused with the power of symbolism, history and hope, like a Vodun talisman. As I wear my father’s name, I become a reminder of my prototype’s legacy and an opportunity to fulfill promises unkept. The life I live will either elevate the name, and inspire repetition, maintain the status quo, or defame it and suffer disuse. Such is the burden, honor and power of a name.