09/01/2012 - For the first two days of my life, I was without a name. Even though
my mom and dad hoped for a daughter and my dad was certain I would be a
girl, they only had a boy's name picked out. Thankfully my big brother
Donny Bob came to the rescue by suggesting that I be named after his friend
down the street.
Because my mom wanted my name to have something in common
with my brother's names (Donn and Dell), I was given the four-letter
spelling. I'm good with that. Being a word person, I enjoy finding my name
in such words as vitamin, stamina and Mesopotamia. It is also a kick to find
my name backwards in words such as ultimate, intimate and animation.
Then to find all my letters in word - it's endless.
While I like my name and its spelling, I have had an issue with it. it's
not the fact that I can't find a pencil with my correct spelling or I am
concerned that someone will spell my name wrong. I'm over that. My
concern is its meaning. Why, it means...perfection. How am I or any of us
supposed to live up to that?
For a brief moment, when I was in college, eating a box of Cracker
Jacks, I thought my concern was over. For in the box was a prize - a little
book of names and their meanings. It didn't identify my name with
perfection but with a.. .palm tree. "I'm off the hook!'' I thought to myself.
Then recalling that my roots are in Montana where there are no palm trees
except for some plastic ones at the mall, I went back to the confounded
Hebrew meaning. Besides, it's hard to believe words that smell like peanuts.
Noah Webster, bless his soul, has come to my rescue and yours shall
you be concerned over this word as well. In his 1828 American Dictionary
of the English Language, he reveals the root meaning of perfection. It
comes from two Latin words: the base word "fecio'' meaning "to make'' and
the prefix "per'' meaning "through". Literally it means "to make through'' or
in other words "to complete''.
At the heart of this word, it is more about being faithful than it is
about being flawless. it's about completing projects, fulfilling
commitments and being true to our word. And as my kids know it, it's
about shutting the drawers and doors all the way, putting away all the
groceries and laundry assigned to them and completing all the math
problems. My motto is "bring it to completion". When we and our children
live by this motto, we accomplish big and little things that matter and give us
a sense of accomplishment. (P.S. My name is in the last word. Sweet.)