n. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
What’s in a name? Do you like your name? If you had it to do all over again would you pick the name you have now or would you choose another one? Not that we have a choice. Our names are, of course, picked for us.
And chances are much thought has gone into that choice.
That was certainly the case for both of our daughters - Jacqueline Abigail and Emma Ariel. Although things didn’t quite go to plan.
When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I was convinced I was having a boy.
C-O-N-V-I-N-C-E-D. I would literally tell people I was having a boy and they just assumed an ultrasound had determined that.
“No ultrasound,” I would say, “I just know.”
So naturally, being so sure (and so stupid), I thought only about boy names and not girl names, or gender neutral names. For Kevin and I, the choice would be easy. It is tradition in Judaism to honour someone who has passed away with the use of their name, or with the use of the same first letter of a name. For us, that was Jack. Jack was my dad who had died when I was 14 years old and it would give us great pleasure to name our son after him. The second name would be Arthur, after Kevin’s grandfather who had also passed from this world, and who was a person very worthy of the honour.
It was decided. Jack Arthur.
And then I went into labour.
“It’s a GIRL!” yelled my doctor, Jennifer, as she pulled our little baby into the world.
“It’s a what?!" I said, groggily, puffed up like a blowfish after labour, and sure I wasn’t hearing correctly. But I was.
And just like that, Jack Arthur became Jacqueline Abigail.
This past week, another little girl was pulled into the world. The daughter of my sweet friends, Bonnie and Albert. I have known Bonnie since she was a little kid as she is the daughter of our very good friends, and in fact, Bonnie was my flower girl at my wedding.
Trippy when your flower girl becomes a mama, not going to lie.
And, of course, I thought the whole time she was having a boy. I was (yup, stupidly) sure of it throughout her entire pregnancy.
It wasn’t until I was with her just a few evenings before she gave birth. We were passing each other in a hallway and suddenly I was surrounded by the most incredible feeling of a female presence. It practically took my breath away. “Bonnie, I said. “I just had the most incredible feeling that you are having a girl.”
And she did. Just a day or so later, beautiful little Mollie Luna was born. And just like Jacqueline Abigail all those years before, she was named in honour of two men - the baby’s great grandfathers - who were kind and exemplary people.
So, after all that. What is this week’s word? Integrity.
I heard it said once that what we ultimately leave this world is our good name.
When we are given our name at a baptism or naming ceremony it is in the hope of what’s to come. When that name is uttered one final time as we leave this world, it is in honour of all we have accomplished and given to the world. When all is said and done, our name defines us, and defines the dignity and integrity with which we carry ourselves.
What’s in a name? Plenty. Use yours well.