The Story of My Name

I wrote this recently in a writing group:

I was named Jean for my mother, but they called me “Jenny” to differentiate me from my mother who was called “Pidge.”  I was told that “Jenny” had come from a great-great grandmother named Jenny Murdoch.  She was a Scot, and my middle name “Davidson” is a clan whose territory was around Inverness.  The story is told of Jenny Murdoch, when she came over on the boat from Scotland, there was a terrible storm.  She was down in steerage, and she came up on deck saying “If I mus’ dee, let me not dee in darkness.”  I have a picture of a young woman in clothing from the 19th Century, sitting proudly.  I don’t remember being told who she was, but I have identified her with Jenny Murdoch, and I take her cry as my motto.  I have lived most of my life in severe depression.  I didn’t know, until I got on medication, that I had never had normal brain chemistry.  One of the things that kept me going through nearly 60 years was the determination that I would not die depressed.

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