It began probably sometime in the year 1980, but maybe 1981. Mom was pregnant with her first daughter, and Disney's Sleeping Beauty had just been re-released in theaters. Come to think of it, it's interesting that apparently our parents went to see a Disney movie without any kids, based on Mom's current attitude toward them. I guess that was before animated films had the reputation of being "kiddie," though I bet Dad might have wanted to see it anyway, maybe.
Anyway, Mom thought Aurora was a beautiful name, and so that's what she decided to name her first daughter. Later, after Aurora was born, I guess, Mom saw the name Athena on a store clerk's nametag, and thought that, too, was a beautiful name, so she decided she would have another daughter and name her Athena. Some of you may know that Aurora means "dawn" or "light," and of course Athena is the goddess of wisdom. So when our aunt Zina (Peterson, for you Quill and the Sword people) heard that Mom was going to name her next daughter Athena, she said, "Well, you can't have light and wisdom without truth, so you have to have another daughter and name her Alethea." And so the three of us were named for light, wisdom, and truth.
Then Mom's sister named her first kids Anna and Aaron, so Mom decided the A thing had to stop, and her next daughter became Celeste. I don't remember that story exactly, but I have vague memories of being told something about how calm and peaceful Celeste was after she was born, so she was named after the Celestial Kingdom. That didn't last long.
I do remember the story about Sarah's name, because we were old enough to remember when it happened. Mom liked to give her daughters middle names based on meaning. For example, Aurora Christine becomes "the light of Christ," Athena Marie becomes "wise mother" (okay, so technically, Marie means "bitter," but it's a derivative of Mary, who was known for being a mother), and Alethea Ann becomes "the grace of truth." Celeste Elicia is technically a redundancy, but we all go with "heavenly bliss."
But when Mom was pregnant with Sarah, apparently sound was also an important factor, because she really wanted to have a daughter named Cassandra Josephine, so she could call her Cassandra Jo. But she couldn't decide between that and Sarah Elizabeth (princess in the house of the Lord), so she decided that if the girl was blonde, she'd be Sarah Elizabeth, and if she was brunette, she'd be Cassandra Jo. After she came home from the hospital, I was a little confused, because she was brunette, but her name was Sarah. Eventually Mom or Dad finally explained that when she was born, she was brunette, but something about her said "this girl is not a Cassandra." So technically it's Sarah's own fault that she got such a common name, now that I think of it. And here we all thought she had been ripped off.
So together, our names all mean, "Light, wisdom, and truth lead to the Celestial Kingdom, where you can be a princess in the house of God."
And I realize this might spoil the mood of that story, but I just have to share. My name now gives me the ultimate fangirl delusion!! See, the name Mamoru in Japanese is usually only represented with one kanji, "protect." But in Mamoru Miyano(the voice of Tamaki-sama♥)'s case, it's written with two, "truth" "protect." According to his weblog, people kept asking him why that was, so he made up the story that his parents wanted him to grow into someone who would "protect" the "truth." (The real reason is that his grandmother said they couldn't give him a name with only one kanji.) And since my name means truth...
Today I'm thankful for having awesome names, fangirl delusions, anecdotes, veterinarians, and re-releases of Disney movies.