Here we are, closing in a nearly one week until I legally shed the Bergkamp last name (field on a mountain, German literal translation) for a new shiny last name. I cling and love the last name "Bergkamp". Perhaps it's because I earned my degrees with that last name or because I have such appreciation knowing the family history of the Bergkamps. Fun fact: my great-great grandpa was 9 months when his family set sail for America and he became deathly ill while en route. The, whats the word I am looking for, captain (possibly) wanted to throw him overboard, because he was so sick. Luckily, that never came about and here we are today (good or bad). All Bergkamps living in America come from that one family of nine. As Daddy says it, we're all related to the same trunk of tree. Pretty fabulous, eh?
I decided that I want to keep a piece of the Bergkamp heritage alive, post July 30 2011. I will add Bergkamp to my middle initial and will legally be Monica Suzanne Bergkamp Leiker. Yes, that is a god awful long name. However, it is the little bit of my past that I can always have. We may need to order an extra long tombstone (rather, my kids will) so it is listed as such. That is how I would like my little plot of land at the Holly Cemetary to read. Now, do not think that I am bashful to become a "Leiker". Rather, I love it. It's unique, but not too unique that you trip over saying it. Bonus points: it's totally German Catholic (just like Bergkamp). There is a huge history connected to agriculture with Leiker, as well. And I am incredibly proud to announce that I am a farm fiance (soon to be wife) whose fiance (soon to be husband) farms with his brother and dad. We are part of a family farm operation. Not to say that if Aaron stayed in radio that I would not be proud of saying that my husband works long hours for nickels and dimes and for the gratification of being recognized at any establishment that caters to old people, because that was exhilerating. There is just something extra, in my opinion, when you are connected to a family establishment. I have cousins in Illionis who are invovled with the police force. Uncle G was a IL State Trooper and his boys are invovled with the force in their towns in IL.
There is an emotional side of me that is pulled when I talk about family. Maybe it's because as I get older, I learn that my family (both Bergkamp and Landwehr) are not perfect. You know when you're growing up, you think your family is idealistic. There are no siblings squabbles. No skeletons in the cedar closet. It is basically "Little House on the Prairie". Then, as you grow older you pick up on social cues that you had not yet noticed. It is hard for me to give personal examples from my family, as you all know how passionate and opinionated I am. Let's just say, you notice that you are far from perfect. Some parts of it enrage and really disappoint you. It's like finding out that Santa ain't real.
What is the kicker and the sting is when it personally affects you. You personally feel the zing of their beliefs and you feel as though you had the chair pulled from under you in 3rd grade by the cute black boy and that is the reason, you believe, you have shoudler muscle problems (maybe that's just me....) You're confused and wonder "When did I become the grown up and not their younger generation?" However, since you ARE a grown up, you recognzie and respect their ways and beliefs and values. It is the way the mop flops. It hurts, oh yes, but it is not changing who you are and what you want for YOUR life. Because, after all, you are a grown up.
Maybe that's why I respect my soon to be maiden name so much, because I am realizing that the word "family" can mean and invoke so many emotions and memories that you can't help but cling to that pronoun.
I do wonder how many people may have wished that Great Great Grandpa was thrown overboard...........