A last name is typically given to you by your father. It should be a name you’re proud to carry and represent. But how can you be proud to carry a “man’s” last name who left his family? Why couldn’t he take his last name with him when he left? Leaving his kids and grandchildren to carry a name that was never part of our lives. Although i’m proud of my dad and representing him, i’m not proud of representing his dad. I didn’t grow up with him and neither did he. I remember when my aunt wrote, Miriam Aguilar but later changed it back to Efigenio. I looked at her name and wondered, “Why would she want to change her last name? It’s not common and part of her?” This was the first time I took more interest into why my my blood grandpa was never there. But honestly, I didn’t care because instead I grew up with Juan. My dad’s step father. To me he was never my step grandpa, my grandma’s boyfriend or my dad’s step father simply and clearly just my grandfather. He raised my dad to become the man he is today and for that I will forever be grateful.


CC BY-SA 4.0 He’s Not Us by Karina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Daniel 10 months ago

    Dear, Karina
    Your post really stand out to me. It started with a very meaningful and strong hook. It made me read it all. I really enjoyed your post. One of your lines from your post that stood out to me is, But how can you be proud to carry a “man’s” last name who left his family? It really made me think of what you said, I agree with you because why carry a man name when he left, when you don’t even see him or know him so why resprend someone you never met or know. Also you post is strong and meaningful.
    Sincerely, Daniel

  2. Maxwell 10 months ago

    Karina, I really enjoyed reading your post. The topic of last names is one that is very interesting to me. After reading your commentary about your last name, I began to think about mine, which eventually led me to researching about the topic. I think the ethics and psychology behind a person’s last name is very interesting and how it can influence a person’s life in more ways than one would think. If you are interested, take a peek at this article, you may find it enriching… https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201511/should-anyone-change-their-last-name-when-they

  3. Truman 10 months ago

    I found your post very interesting but I have never thought of it like that. I feel that a last name or surname is only as important as the person carrying it, our society and many others put a large emphasis on our surnames but really why does it matter that much? your name is your name and you get to make it what you want rather or not its your family name.

  4. Ethan 10 months ago

    I was initially attracted to your article because of the title. I admire you sharing this part of your life, and I find your perspective very fascinating. If you’re interested I found this article https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/28/why-shouldnt-children-have-mothers-surname about perspectives on surnames. I hope to see more writing from you soon.

  5. Guadalupe 10 months ago

    Kari your memoir to your last name is priceless because you talk to so positive about how your father gave you his last name and I like how your last name is very unique just like mine.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account

%d bloggers like this: