“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I was named after my Grandma, Helen Caroline Ellinwood Harrell. My name is Caroline Ellinwood Summers Ross.

I was supposed to be Caroline Whitaker Summers, when I was born. That way I would have had a family name from both my Mom’s side and my Dad’s side. But, apparently the pain meds got to my Mom, and when she went to fill out the birth certificate, she just went with what was second nature to her. Her Mom’s name was Caroline Ellinwood. She was used to hearing it. So, for me, Whitaker was forever lost!

I remember when I got married, and was preparing to change my name, I asked my Dad if he had a preference: Caroline Ellinwood Ross or Caroline Summers Ross. He preferred Summers. So, I honored him and went with that. So now my middle name is Summers, my maiden name. I remember saying, but I don’t want to lose Ellinwood. He wisely said, “That will always be your name. You won’t lose it.” And, he was right. My name is Caroline Ellinwood Summers Ross. Though, Caroline S. Ross is a lot simpler on formal documents!

I’m glad I was named after my Grandma. She died when I was in elementary school, but I remember her well. I loved her. She had a great laugh! My Mom and I inherited that from her. The picture above is of her laughing, and I have similar pictures of both my Mom and I doing the same thing! She was a poet. So am I. She was wild, and unfortunately, I got that from her too… She was lovely. I hope my Grandchildren will say something similar about me one day. Her loss has always been a GREAT loss in our family.