What’s in a Name?

When my mom was asked how many children she had, she often answered nine.

The fact of the matter was my mother had three children.

If you asked my mom the names of her children she would say:








WHO IS GITTEL? The only Gittel we thought we knew was our neighbor on Ohio (in the 48221 zipcode.) However, that was not the Gittel my mom was referring too.

When asked, she would just respond, Gittel!

If I tried to correct her by telling her she had a daughter by the name of Karen, her comment often was, who would name a baby Karen?

If I took the conversation one step further and suggested the name KIKI, she added, “oy vey she was a pain in the ass.”

*The morning after my mother’s funeral as I looked through photos I came across one of her grandparents. When I turned it over the names were written: Getzel Freedman was mom’s paternal grandfather and Gittel Freedman was her paternal grandmother.

There stands the mystery of Gittel. However, Gittel was not her daughter, and she did name me Karen.




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