How I almost was named Bernadette

I’m an only child, so my parents only had to play the name game once when deciding what I would be known as in this world. It’s an important task, and as my parents were older than the average age at the time, I believe they put quite a bit of thought into it.

Dad holding me just days after I was born.

My mom thought I was going to be a boy, based upon her gut feeling and discussions with acquaintances, who claimed they could “just tell” by looking at a pregnant woman whether she was going to have a boy or girl. If I had been a boy, my parents had decided upon the name Scott.

But instead my parents ended up with a baby girl. My dad offered up the name Bernadette, after the saint who purportedly saw visions of the Virgin Mary. It’s a good Catholic name, but I’m glad for once that mom intervened and suggested Joy. It was certainly a lot easier to spell when I was learning to write!

I don’t think dad was too crushed over losing out on the baby name game. My parents picked Kim as my middle name, and my dad and his relatives all took to calling me “Joy-Kim” so he put his own personalized stamp on it.

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