P — Pamala, not Pamela is the name my mother gave me, from a book she read. But I didn’t know that until 19 years after I was born.
A — Almost found out about it when I changed schools when I was 9. Teacher called for all us new students to stand (I hated stuff like this): Puh-mah-la she said twice, Didn’t know it was my name and stayed in my seat. Caused a whispering of why I didn’t know my name.
M — Moved around a lot between kin because Mama lost me lots when she caressed the White Dog. She became lost to me for 12 years.
E — Erased: my left-handed letters when I was 7. Maybe ‘a’ disappeared when Teacher didn’t know my ‘a’s from my ‘e’s. Don’t think being left-handed or spelling a name different was ok back then.
(A — Anyway, sent off for my birth certificate so I could get my driver’s license when I turned 19. Found out I was Pamala not Pamela. Shocked me, a little change like that.)
L – Left Virginia on a Greyhound Bus for South Carolina when I saved enough money to find Mama. Didn’t know which was my aunt and which was my mama when I got there…lost the shape of her. It was when she touched me I remembered her. Later I asked why ‘a’ instead of ‘e’?
A — Altered that first ‘e’ to an ‘a’, Mama said, from the book name. To make it different. To make it yours.