How Justine Got Her Name

When I was a little girl I lived in Toronto. Both my parents were city people and we didn’t leave the city very often. We certainly didn’t go camping or to a cottage. Once I remember going to a resort for a week. It was like the place in the movie “Dirty Dancing” were we all ate in a big dining hall and they put on shows. That’s about as close as I got to camping.

One summer I did go to day camp. It wasn’t like the day camps I had gone to in past summers which took place in my city school. This time we got in big yellow school buses and actually went outside the city to a camp every day for a week (or 2). We didn’t sleep there. We returned home at the end of the day. I don’t remember too much about the camp except we were all put it to teams and we had First Nations names. I remember building a lean-to.

One day when we were climbing back onto our yellow busses at the end of the day I heard a girl yell out the window.

She said, “Bye Justine!”.

I looked at who she was talking to and saw a beautiful girl with long, golden hair. I had a cousin named Christine and thought it was a pretty name but I had never heard Justine before. I thought it was the most beautiful name I’d ever heard.

Years later I read the book, “The Thorn Birds”. In it the main character calls her daughter, Justine and again I remembered how much I liked that name. I made a promise to myself that if I had a girl I would name her Justine.

Meggie and her daughter Justine

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