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Guest Contributor: What's In A Name?

May 3, 2016

 

Introduction by CC/Me/Carletta/The Keep It Moving Mojo  :-).

 

My second guest blogger is Holli Barrett. 

 

When I traveled to Gulf Shores, Al in 2014 for a week long retreat provided by an awesome organization called "The Little Pink Houses of Hope", I had no idea how strongly I would connect with other survivors and their families.   It was an outstanding week of love, hugs, encouragement, and hope.   I met Holli in Gulf Shores & we've kept in touch via social media. 

 

Holli is Faithful. She is Kind. She is a Warrior.  She is Mother, Wife, Daughter, Friend and so much more. 

 

Sending you Prayers, High 5s and Hugs!  

 

P.S. I will definitely give some thought to my power name :-). Thank you for sharing your story with us and helping remind us the importance of a name and that cancer isn't who we are/were/will be.

 

 

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What's in a name?

 

           

 

Did Shakespeare have it right when he wrote Juliet’s lines as she mourned her surname as it kept her from her true love’s embrace?

 

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

 

            By any other name would smell as sweet;

            Act II Scene II Romeo and Juliet by William Shakesphere

            (Web. 21 Apr. 2016)

 

I love names.

I love the origin of names.

I love the meaning of names.

I put a lot of thought into naming all three of my children.

 

I've always wondered if your name somehow influences who you are. 

 

I always agreed with Shakespeare and Juliet. 

 

That was, of course, until I was diagnosed with cancer in October 2013.

 

Then I became known more by my acronym then by my name. And trust me… it wasn’t very sweet.

 

Stage IIb/III. DCIS. IDC. ILC. LCIS. LVSI. KI67+. Lymph nodes +.

 

That was, however,  until I was accepted into Athletes 4 Cancer’s Camp KORU #17 in Maui.

 

Athletes 4 Cancer is an amazing organization. I’ll share the link to their website at the end of this article.  But this article is about names so I'll get back to that.

 

In order to attend camp KORU I had to come up with a power name. The mere suggestion of it was an embarrassment and struck fear in my heart. I had to come up with a name for myself other than the one given to me at birth!? I had to. How do you name yourself? Especially without coming off as pretentious.  I mean wouldn't people laugh if I showed up there with the name ‘queen of everything’?

 

But I had an idea! 

 

I would let someone else name me.  Brilliant!  So, I decided to poll all my Friends and ask my husband. But, ultimately, I found my answer in a song as cliché as that sounds.

 

I love the country artist Aaron Watson. He and his wife had suffered the unthinkable loss of their child. Mr. Watson had written a song titled Julia’s song or the Bluebonnet Song. Below are the words to the chorus.

 

“Like bluebonnets in the spring we're only here for a little while
It's beautiful and bittersweet so make the most of every mile
So pack light and love heavy give it all your heart and soul
So in the end you won't regret one thing
Life is like bluebonnets in the spring”

--Aaron Watson

 

The part which talks about how the bluebonnets are here for only a little while really resonated with me. This reminded me of how Cancer changed my outlook on life. At 37 with 3 young children (the youngest being 16 months old) I was forced to face my own mortality. 

 

Bluebonnets are also the state flower of Texas.  And for those who know me best know that I LOVE Texas. And being the only one chosen from Texas, I had to bring a part of my beloved state with me to Maui.

 

Then, I decided to look up the flower and its seeds. I found that the Bluebonnet seed doesn't germinate all of it seeds every spring. Those seeds have an extremely thick coating so that some of them are put away and are able to withstand times of adversity.

 

“The clue to successfully cultivating bluebonnets lies in a knowledge of the seed. The seeds resemble small, flat pea- gravel and are multi-colored with slate blue and light tan being the most common hues. People can now buy bluebonnet seed which will germinate and begin growing within ten days rather than the months required previously. One might think that any seed, if viable, will grow when planted; not so with the bluebonnet. Nature has structured the bluebonnet seed in such a way that only a small percentage of the seed germinates during the first season after planting. This delayed germination ensures species survival during periods of adverse growing conditions such as prolonged drought.  Nature may want to ration bluebonnet seed germination but planters of the state flower want each and every seed to germinate and grow rapidly." (Parsons, web)

 

Well, if that doesn't sound like a Texas girl who just survived cancer I don't know what does!!

 

Even more interesting is the process in which the seed of the bluebonnet is treated in order to provide ideal germination:

“To ensure rapid, high percentage germination, the bluebonnet seed has to be treated to remove inhibiting properties of the seed coat which otherwise prevent water uptake and the initiation of growth. This process of seed treatment is referred to as scarification. Seed which has been properly scarified will germinate within 10 days after planting in a moist soil. Seedlings of scarified seed are also more vigorous.” (Parsons, Web)

 

Just seeing the word “scarification’ brings back memories after my first surgery; the one where I missed almost half of a day being under anesthesia and in the OR for 10 ½ hours. My double mastectomy. 

 

I am also reminded of the scar I still rub right under my left collar bone where my port used to carry the poison that made my cancer sick but made everything else in me sick, too. I began to develop a kinship with these bluebonnets and with how God not only created them but how he also created me. 

 

This life is not easy.

 

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble but take heart he has overcome the world.

 

In this world don't we all need a power name? We don't need to have cancer to have one.

My power name is Bluebonnet. 

 

What's yours?

 

       

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Aaronwatsonchannel. "Aaron Watson - Bluebonnets (Julia's Song) (Official Lyric Video)." YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

 

"Athletes for Cancer." : Harnessing the Healing Power of the Elements with the Determination of the Human Spirit to Benefit Those Affected by Cancer. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2016. <http://www.athletes4cancer.org/>.

 

"Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Scene II. William Shakespeare. 1914. The Oxford Shakespeare." Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Scene II. William Shakespeare. 1914. The Oxford Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

 

"Texas Bluebonnets - Texas Pride | Archives | Aggie Horticulture." Texas Bluebonnets - Texas Pride | Archives | Aggie Horticulture. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2016. <http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/flowers/bluebonnet/bluebonnetstory.html>.

 

 

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