What's In a Name?

I had to watch the movie Shane for American Lit, and I don’t really know why but I was under the impression that I had been named after him. I seemed to have a distinct memory of being told this, but didn't recall who told me or when, so I questioned it's veracity. I happened to mention it to my professor at the end of class the other day when he reminded us about watching the movie. So today we discussed the movie, and at the end of the class he asked me to come talk to him. He was curious to know if I had indeed been named after the character. So I decided I'd check with my mom, and see if it was true. I was so curious I wanted to call her right after class but she works in the bus barn of a high school, and it was like 2:30 so I knew she'd be busy. So just a few minutes ago, I called her while I was on break. I asked her, "What made you name me Shane?" So I was thinking she was gonna say the movie right, confirm that I wasn’t crazy. But she was like, “well you probably won’t like this….but..” (immediately I knew it was a guy she actually knew) “there was this really hot guy in high school, who died in an accident senior year. I just always liked the name because he was such a sweet guy, everyone liked him.” Then I proceeded to tell her how I had somehow gotten the idea that it was because of the movie Shane, and she told me that she wasn't even sure she'd seen the movie.

So, I am still curious as to how I got this idea in my head that she named me after the movie, but I am somewhat grateful that it found its way in there, because it was an interesting moment with my mom where I learned something about her I never knew. I could also detect a hint of sadness in her voice when she mentioned him dying. These are the moments I enjoy, moments where truth is shared between souls. It's so strange how the weirdest things can bring about moments like this.

We only talked for like 11 minutes, but it was one of the most intimate conversations we've had in awhile. I told her how I felt like I seriously needed psychiatric help because of my problems with worry and anxiety. She was frank with me and said she didn't think so, she said she thought that's just the way I am. My brother is the complete opposite, completely carefree for the most part. She reminded me of something I learned awhile back. Things can be positive or negative, depending on how you look at them. She said "It is a good thing because you think things through." This is so true, I often think them through too much, but that doesn't mean I should throw the baby out with the bathwater, I should embrace the gift I have of foresight, and try instead to harness it, to focus it if you will. To get back to the movie Shane, after trying to give up being a cowboy and a gunslinger, at the end, after once again putting on his six shooter and killing the bad guys to save his new friends, he says "A man's got to be what he is, you can't break the mold." Words of wisdom, Shane.

Now I am curious about this guy I was actually named after, what was he like. What did he look like. I mean apparently he was attractive, what color were his eyes? His hair? What kind of accident was it? Was it his fault, was he a victim of a tragedy? When she saw me as a kid did she think of him. Is that why she called me by my middle name? Interesting how new info can alter the way you see the past.


  1. That would be really odd to find out. I think I would have the same questions you did. It is strange to think of the memory a name can pass on, sometimes a stronger memory than we expect.

  2. But molds are meant to be broken! Right?
    Who knows? But anyway, Shane is a cool name. And it's wonderful that your name led you to making a genuine connection with your mom.


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