Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Daisy by Any Other Name...

Do we or do we not wrack our brains for nine months to decide the perfect names for our children?
Sometimes we want something unique—different from anyone else. The movie stars really have this dialed in right now with names like Apple, and Honor, and Sunday. However, from the moment the celebs christen their little ones with such distinctive names, hundreds of thousands of little kids will be monikered thus, rendering these inimitable names common. Kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn’t it?
Sometimes we want to give our children family names. Geoffrey’s middle name is Scott after his father. Sean Eugene Martin is a fifth-generation “Eugene”. Five generations is nothing to sneeze at! That name goes back hundreds of years. If we’d had another son, his name would have been Something Eugene. Incidentally, Eugene is my father’s middle name, Donald Eugene Lofton.
We want our children’s names to mean something significant that will hover over them like a protective banner throughout their lives. Geoffrey means “Heavenly Peace”. Not only has he been a source of “Heavenly Peace” to me and those he touches, it has always been my wish that his name would do its job: hover over him and provide “Heavenly Peace” whenever he needs it as he goes throughout his life.
My Grandma Polly’s name hovered over her, but not as a banner of protection. Polly means “Great Sorrow”. Her middle name, Ann, means “Gracious and Merciful”. Her name defined her perfectly. She was the most gracious and merciful woman I have ever known, whose life was afflicted by great sorrow.
So, be careful when you name someone.
In writing fiction, I never name any of my characters until I’ve consulted with www.babynames.com. That website has every name you could think of, the origins and the meanings. Look up your own name and see if your life has lived up to your label.
On September 4th, a little after 9:00 AM, my name was legally changed to Daisy. Many have asked how I got the nickname, Daisy, in the first place. It was a Scrabble game, to tell you the truth. I worked at Applebee’s for several years and… OK, so I dated the general manager for about two years, which is not kosher in the restaurant business, so no one really knew about it. Another blog. Anyway, I was playing a game of Scrabble with him and his mom, Betty, whom Geoffrey and I loved dearly—may she rest in peace. Now, I’m pretty decent at Scrabble, and I was already winning by no small amount. I attached the word “daisy” to another word and put it on a triple word score, shooting ahead almost another hundred points. Then on my next turn, I put “amaze” with another word on ANOTHER triple word score and just about blew the two of them out of the water. The next day at work, I had someone make me a nametag with the name “Daisy” on it, and I wore it around just to rub it in. When my boyfriend/boss saw it, he simply replied, “Amazing.” As I wore the nametag, people began to call me Daisy. I decided I liked the sound of it and continued to wear the nametag. People started calling me Daisy even when I wasn’t wearing it. I liked the sound of that too. A manager from another store asked me to come tend bar for her on Friday nights, and I went over to her store as “Daisy”. When she liked me enough to ask me to open up another restaurant for her and be her daytime bartender, I was Daisy from the very first day, and I’ve been Daisy for the last fifteen years.
People have asked me throughout the years if I would ever consider changing my name legally. It’s strange, but I always said no. I don’t know why I said no, other than the fact that when people don’t think something is really an option, they tell themselves they don’t really want it. But recently, when my dear friend, Diedre, told me how easy it would be and that she would make it happen for me if I really wanted her to, I discovered that I wanted it so much it hurt. I literally began to cry at the possibility that I could change my name.
Why would I cry?
When people call me by my old name, it’s as if they are calling my old self. That girl has cried buckets of tears. She had a reason to. The good news is that when I speak of my old self, it seems to me that I am literally speaking about someone else. Like a phoenix, I have risen out of those ashes to fly to heights beyond anything I could have ever thought or imagined. I shed my former self like snakeskin and emerged a new person. I left behind everything but my name, and now it’s time to leave that behind as well. I’m crying for joy. There is no longer be anything that tethers me to my past.
Daisy simply means flower. However, when I looked a little harder, I found a very old meaning: “Day’s Eye”. Someone, eons ago, probably looked out over a meadow filled with daisies and thought they looked like eyes peering up toward the heavens, seeking all that the day would bring.
For a middle name, and I’ve discovered that it is somewhat bizarre to name yourself, I have chosen Rain. In this moment, every one of you thought to yourself, “Daisy Rain”. At least half of you thought I should have grown up in the sixties. But let me explain this so you’ll really get it. First of all, I wanted a one-syllable name. All “Daisies” have one-syllable names that come after: Daisy May, Daisy Sue, Daisy Jane, Daisy Lou… Daisy Chain! It just SOUNDS good. I also wanted my middle name to be a noun. Daisy is a noun—Rain is a noun. And the fact that Rain is a nature-noun works for me as well. But the kicker in my mind was this: According to the babynames website, Rain means, “Abundant Blessings from Above”.
I am Daisy Rain Martin, the girl with her eyes toward Heaven every day, seeking all that each day will bring, and knowing that every blessing in my life has come from above.
Thank you, Jesus, for making me a new person. Thank you, Diedre, for making it legal. I love you both more than…


Anonymous said...

O.K. Christian,
I just read your blog and I have understood why deep in your heart that you would want to change your name. I appreciate how you are ready to move on and Lord knows I want you to. Leave all of the pain and bad memories behind.
Now please don't be offended, but as I read your blog, I was trying to decide if I was suppose to start mourning my cousin who I grew up with. I want you to be happy and I find that you changing your name makes you happy then do so. I love the story that goes along with "Daisy" and as for Rain, it does ll reflect new life. Here's the part that I now can't let go of. My childhood memories are tied into growing up with, swimming with, fighting with, playing cards with, hiding from the boys with, singing with...O.K. the list goes on. I am tied into Christian. Please forgive me, but this old dog has trouble retraining her mind for that one. Even though your name is Daisy Rain (does sound refreshing...and will make a great Authors name) you will always be my Christain (maybe no one elses). So from this day forward, you are Daisy Rain, but your nickname for me alone will be... Christian. (I have to add...since I attend a girl scout camp every summer... you have to come up with a camp name...you would never have to come up with a name...You could use your real name and no one would ever know.
Love you with all of my heart,
Cindy aka Gadget

Daisy Martin said...

My sweet sister,
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I have never doubted your love and have always felt your support. If you call me Christian, I will probably answer you. There ARE people who insist on calling me Christian because they disagree with my changing my name, and I don't really respond to those people--not out of defiance because of their refusal to respect my decisions, but simply because I do not have their love and support. From you, however, I feel all the love and support in the world. Therefore, I will ALWAYS respond to you when you reach out to me whatever you call me. The happiest part of my childhood, most sincerely, was you, your brothers, your parents, and my grandparents. I am so thankful. Those memories we share will never go away. I cherish them as you do. I have to--I would go crazy without being able to look back and find something happy. Thank you so much for helping to create that part of my childhood for me. You don't know how much
it means. Or maybe you do--you never did get a sister! :) So, honey, you call me what your heart wants to call me. There might be some days that you actually are in a "Daisy" kind of mood. I will say one thing that I didn't happen to mention on my blog. The thought of my headstone saying "Christian Martin" when I die really, really, really was upsetting to me. That wouldn't be the person buried there. It was important that the person they lay to rest is Daisy Rain Martin. She was free. Christian wasn't. That's how I want to be remembered.

Anonymous said...

Yes you can post my blog. For some reason I can't get there. Funny thing...after reading your blog, I read an e-mail from my women's Bible study group and they asked for us to start thinking of a name for our group. I e-mailed her back and said I know that we have a daisy on our women's t-shirts that were made and I recently read something beautiful about a daisy. I think I then said, just as God provides the rain for a daisy to grow, the daisy looks up as if to say thank you to the Heavenly Father. So then I proceeded with how about "Daisy Rain."
I just felt the connection with you last night. You have always been my sister and will always be from the bottom of my heart for there never was anyone born in that position.

Anonymous said...

Rock on Daisy!! I love the thought of you being free. I knew you when. I know you now. I liked you then. I LOVE you now!

Talk about a TRUE friend who sys it like it needs to be said. You've kicked my butt many a day. You've hugged some tears away too. You've listened. You've laughed. You've given. You are Daisy!

You will NEVER know the impact you had on my two impressionable children who ONLY know you as Daisy. When I speak of you, they remember a night in our house in Iowa on your American Camping Journey. They fell in love with Daisy.

For those who cannot accept YOU, let it roll sister! They will NEVER accept you. You are truly free and don't look for approval in man. I love that and strive to be there one day myself. It's a journey!

Heck, I changed my name...well shortened it and took crap for that (can you believe that?!). Not that you need my approval at all (didn't I just say that?)...but just want you to know how much I love you now. Daisy Rain suits you well. You'll always be remembered by a name.

Brandon Heath sings a song that reminds me of you.

I wish you could see me now
I wish I could show you how
I'm not who I was
I used to be mad at you
A little on the hurt side too
But I'm not who I was

I see you not looking back at WHO YOU WERE but triumphing into WHO YOU ARE! And that, my dear, is a big difference.


Anonymous said...

Dear Daisy Rain...,
Ilove it! It sounds great wth Marsha JO(smile). You never cease to amaze me.. May the Favor and blessings of God rest upon your live forever more. May you never have need of anything for more than a second, may your barns always be filled, For every tear you have shed, for every heartache you have experienced, for every wound that was left open and bleeding for ever pain that you felt; for every negative word that has been spoken over your life by the power that God has invested in me I speak into your life one hundred fold blessings Your name shall be great among men! I declare it to be so in Jesus' name, and IT Is SO!!!! Love you More, Marsha Jo

Anonymous said...

Dearest Daisy Rain,

I have only known you as Daisy. In fact I had known you for years before I heard someone call you Christian. I remember asking who are they calling Christian? Who is this Christian person? I only know my flower friend Daisy. Time goes on as time dose and you my friend Daisy Rain never stop to amazing me. I know you know what I mean. Everytime I have a problem I ask myself WWDD (What would Daisy do?)
That being said you also know I am the Daisy Dancing Fan! But apon refection I realize Christian also was a sorce of sprit for me. Christian was as close to Christ as I had known. I know, I know that sounds strange but I am sure YOU understand. I am by NO Way trying to compare you but you are the purest person I have ever met. You know my feelings on religon. I can honestly say you are pure joy, pure love, pure life. What is more pure than a daisy? When I see a daisy flower, I see happy little flowers. Long before I met you, daisy's had always been my favorite flower now, she is my favorite friend.

All my love,
One Daisy Dancing Fan!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey, did you know Xander's middle name is Eugene? we borrowed Sean's family name, it means Born Lucky and it's originally Greek. Loved your post.