What’s in a name?

I swished my broccoli from one side of my plate to the other side with my fork. I normally loved broccoli with cheese but tonight I didn’t have an appetite.  I had serious information to share with my parents and I was afraid they wouldn’t like it.

“I’ve made a decision”, I said solemnly. “You didn’t know how to spell my name when I was born. I’ve fixed that problem though.  I will no longer be Amy spelled ‘A-M-Y’. You may now call me by my real name which is Amee spelled ‘A-M-E-E’.

Mom and Dad didn’t smile.

My younger brother John put his fork done and starred at me.

“Amee spelled “A-M-E-E” is better, I explained. “I just made it up today and I like it”.

“A-M-Y is your legal name”, Dad replied. “It’s on your birth certificate and you might change your mind and want to use your real name. It’s the name your loving parents gave you at birth”.

“We gave you that name, because the baby book says it means love”, Mom jumped in.

I was unmoved by their pleadings.  I liked my spelling better. I knew I wasn’t going to change my mind even when I got older.

“Henceforth now and forever, ” I  declared,  “A-M-E-E is the only  proper way to spell my name”.

My parents smiled and gave me the ‘Oh, aren’t our children cute’ look. Then they went back to eating dinner.

My brother John had more to say about it. He scrunched up his little face and pounded his hands on the table. “You are not allowed to change your name without consulting all of your younger brothers. We say no”.

“I can do what I want”, I cried.  ” I’m 11″.

And so 11-year-old me changed my name. It wasn’t legal, but all of my real friends and family knew how my name was  spelled. I told every school teacher at the start of each  school year how I spelled my name.  My coworkers knew that HR would give me a paycheck with A-M-Y but A-M-E-E did the work and spent the money. This is how it went for the next 30 years. I never went back. I was A-M-E-E, because I said so.

During the divorce process, I decided to finally make the real spelling of my name official. I legally changed the spelling. I am ‘A-M-E-E’ henceforth now and forever.

My sister Jenny threw me a Name Reveal Party to celebrate with decorations, cake and presents.

My name

She got me a big box and filled it with balloons. The nephews and niece went crazy when I opened the box and balloons came flying out.

A Big Box

It was a great day.

 

The Dress part 2

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about getting rid of the dress I wore to my 10th grade winter formal. I was afraid that by letting the dress go I would forget a magical evening. I’m once again faced with saying a farewell.

How do you say goodbye to your wedding dress?

My wedding dress

I haven’t written on this blog about my divorce. The reasons are private. I wish nothing but happiness for my former spouse. There is still the subject of the dress though. It really is not good for one’s mental health to see your wedding dress hanging in the closet every day.

I must admit that there was a time when I thought the best thing to do was to go to the desert and have a large bonfire.  I even imagined myself inviting my favorite friends to a wedding dress burning party. We would all roast marshmallows and dance around the  embers of my marriage.  Although it was a fun daydream, I knew I couldn’t do that.

At the end of the day, I still believe in the goodness of people and the power of God to make everything right in the end. It’s like that scripture from Isaiah about turning ashes into something beautiful. I couldn’t burn my wedding dress for the same reason that I always stop and blow dandelions whenever I see one. They are symbols. Dandelions. Wedding dresses. Cute kids dressed up in their Sunday best at Church. Beautiful sunsets. Elderly couples holding hands. People having fun together. Making cookies for your friends. These are some of the little things in life that symbolize friendship, love and hope to me. Symbols are powerful. You just can’t burn a symbol.

20180216_131309_Burst02

I did find a new home for my wedding dress. I donated it to a charity’s thrift store. I also made a financial donation to an organization that helps children in memory of my marriage. Beauty from ashes and many more years of dandelion blowing.  That’s the goal. For all of us.

With Love,

Amee

Happy Me

(It’s August, 2019.  It’s been 16 years and a few months since I wore my wedding dress. I’m still myself. That’s a major accomplishment.  I’ve always wanted to be Amee when I grew up.)

2019: My Year for Joy

It’s a new year. My sister Jenny and I celebrated by participating in a 5K race. We had fun chatting during the race. At the finish line, we got participation medals.

5k sisters

I wrote my New Year’s Resolution on my arm so I could think about it during the 5K. My goal for this year is to have joy. It’s not enough to just survive life. I want to thrive. I want to live in joy.  I  believe the Creator made us for joy. In fact, that is why it’s my goal for the year.

Jenny agreed with me about the joy goal. So, I told her my plan. We would sing the best live your life song ever written as we got near to the finish line. We sang Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” at the top of our lungs. Here are some of the words.
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song.  (Fight Song by Rachel Platten)

We started the song really strong with powerful arms in the air, and then we got the giggles and laughed for several minutes.  It was a fun start to the new year.

What will you do this year to have joy?