Say Your Name

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I never wanted to know anything about my name other than what Mama told me.  But, I decided to find out more after seeing a May 28, 2013 WordPress Daily Prompt idea to write a post in response to three questions:

“Question #1: Are you named after someone or something?

Mama picked my name after coming across photos of babies advertising Palmolive Soap and Colgate Toothpaste.  Featured in the photos were The Dionne quintuplets, Annette, Cercile, Yvonne, Marie and Emilie.

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The five sisters were born from a single egg in 1934 and given the title, “Miracle Babies.”

Ad Colgate Dental Cream Dionne 2

I was given the name of two of the sisters, Yvonne Marie.

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Question #2:  Are there any stories or associations attached to it?

My Two Names

For many year, people called me Uhvonne” and not “Evonne.”   In my early teens, I tried to convince Mama that “Yv” is pronounced as “E.”  But, she firmly replied “I named you ‘Uhvonne and that’s your name.”   As a teenager, I decided life would be less confusing if I pronounced my name as “Evonne? “  Though, out of respect for Mama; in her presence I was always “Uhvonne.” 

 Yvonnes’ in the United States

There are 315,960,850 people in the United States.  Of this number 199,055 are named Yvonne.   It is now the 322nd most popular name and 99.9% of people with the first name Yvonne are female.

Notable People Named Yvonne

Wikipedia listed twenty-four notable people with the first name Yvonne.  I chose to highlight four.

Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, Lawyer Politician and the first woman elected to Congress.

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Yvonne Darlene Cagle, M.D., Colonel United States Air Force, and NASA Astronaut

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Yvonne DeCarlo, Actress most noted for roles played in the Ten Commandments and Band of Angels.   In the 1960s, she was the character, Lili Munson, in the television series, The Munsters.

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Yvonne Craig, former ballet dancer and actress.  She is most famous for playing Batgirl in the 1960s series, Batman,” and Marta in the episode of Star Trek the Original Series “Whom Gods Destroy.

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Nicknames for Yvonne

Wikipedia reports the following common nicknames:  Vonnie, Yvie, Evie, Bonnie, Ronnie, Scone, Eve.  Other than my husband of fifty-three years calling me Vonnie, no one has tagged me with any of the other common names.

Question #3:  If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Definitely, no.   More than seventy years ago, Mama made the choice to name me — Yvonne.   Almost twenty-two years ago, my Eldest Daughter decided to give her first child the middle name — Yvonne.

Mama, is no longer with us, but her 70-year-old daughter and 22-year-old, great-granddaughter continue to honor and cherish the name she chose —Yvonne.

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I Was A “Me – Pessimist”

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Confession!!!   I lived most of my life as a “mepessimist.”   Sadly, I spent too many years believing

  • my “glass was half empty and not half full;” and
  • it was impossible for me to make  “lemonade out of lemons.”

Frankly, I was the half empty glass” as well as the ‘lemons.”  The years of verbal, emotional and physical abuse perpetrated by a dysfunctional and alcoholic father created a weak woman.   A wounded soul, low self-esteem, and no confidence; I, the “me-pessimist” focused on the negatives and not the positives.

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But, mind you, I was overly optimistic when it came to others.  If friends or family strayed into the “pessimist mode;” I quickly stepped in hoping to turn their negative thoughts into positive ones.  Sadly, I did not feel empowered to do the same for myself.

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Over the years, seeking the approval and acceptance of others, I ignored many of my hopes, dreams and desires.  The fear of being judged hindered my ability to think like an “optimist.”   You see I felt safe and comfortable living life as a “me-pessimist.”

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A breast cancer diagnosis in 2008 and a life threatening respiratory illness in 2010 was a life-changer.    At last I understood, as one of God’s Creations, I was blessed with the ability to  “make choices.”

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Now, I choose to live with my “glass half full and not  half empty” and to “make lemonade out of lemons.”  In other words, I choose to —

  • make “every day” a “great day “ and my “best day”
  • focus on the positives and reject the negatives

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Living, Learning and Loving

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Following a life-threatening illness in 2010, I finally exhaled, opened my eyes, and realized tomorrow was not promised.  Understanding and accepting that I had more yesterdays than tomorrows.  At sixty-seven years old, I decided it was time to start:

  • Living life to its fullest;
  • Learning new things; and
  • Loving me

In doing so, I feel Empowered to

  • Let Go of the unnecessary baggage I carried around for most of my life;
  • Say No to “my wants and desires,” and
  • Say Yes to “my needs.”

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During my early transition phase, I was seeking to “find my true self “ and “identify my needs.”  To accomplish this, I had to exit my comfort zone to explore new experiences.   
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The journey I have chosen to follow is challenging, but it has opened the doors to exciting new places, things and people

  • Yoga Classes
  • Aqua Zumba Classes
  • Spiritual Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Blogging  
  • Social Media
  • Container Flower Gardening

Closing old doors and entering new ones has brought peace, happiness, love, tranquility and serenity into my life.

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Today at 70-years-young, I am Living, Learning and Loving everyday.

Early Morning Reflections on Mother’s Day

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 Mother’s Day Cards

Waking up at 6:30 a.m., I felt an overwhelming need for solitude.  Grabbing the five unopened greeting cards from my desk, I quickly and quietly left the bedroom hoping not to wake the sleeping Hubby.  Leisurely drinking my morning coffee at the kitchen table, I admired and read the Mother’s Day cards that came in yesterday’s mail.

Four were from my son-in-law, GPKII, I know they were selected, purchased and sent on behalf of my two oldest grandchildren, Lady C and GPKIII.   Like me, GPKII has a passion for selecting just the right greeting cards.  Whatever the occasion, I can always count on a beautiful card from the son-in-law.

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The other card was from my Florida Daughter.  I met her shortly after arriving in Florida three years ago.  This was a chance meeting outside of a local bagel shop and has grown in to a supportive and caring relationship.

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I love to send and receive greeting cards.  Especially, pleasurable is selecting just the right card for the occasion.  Rarely, will I receive a card, in recognition of any occasion, from hubby, the kids and grandkids.   I know them well enough to say with confidence, sending or receiving a greeting card would rank very low on their  “makes me feel good list.”   It’s not a problem.  Their love flows toward me in more ways than I could ever count.

Four Extraordinary Mothers In My Life

 “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us, when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts(Essayist and Biographer, Washington Irving)

I have had the pleasure of sharing a part of my life with four Extraordinary MothersMama, Carrie, Pam and Kim.  In observing them over the years, I have been blessed to see firsthand what can only be described as  “picture perfect images” of dedicated, loving, and giving Mother.

Mama, you carried me in your womb for nine months.  The two of us lived as a single loving and supportive unit for the first seventeen years of my life.  This unit was expanded to include my husband and our three children until you left us on that cold day in December of 1967.  I miss you but know you are in a place where there is an abundance of love, joy and peace.

Onetha Burks

Happy Mother’s Day MamaRest in Peace

Carrie, from the day I married your son, you opened up your heart and arms welcoming me into a new family.  God blessed me with a mother-in-law who loved me like a mother.  I really relied on you for that maternal support and love after the death of my own mother.  Thank you for always being there for me.  Our family’s life today is better because your door was always open to care for and love our three children whenever we asked.  During those times when the pressures of working and/or being full time students left little time for parenting, you never complained and lovingly welcomed your grandkids into your home summer after summer.   You will always have a special place in my heart.  We miss you, but know you are in a restful and peaceful place.

My mother Carrie Lee Childress

Happy Mother’s Day Carrie – Rest in Peace

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new. (Author Unknown) 

Pam, my firstborn God blessed me with the opportunity to be with you during the birth of both Lady C and GPKIII.  From the first day of their lives, you made them your #1 priority.  Family remains at the top of your “priority list.”  Over the past eight years following your husband’s life threatening stroke, you overcame the odds.  Though you faced challenges, you had the strength and courage to confront them.  Thank you for blessing me with two beautiful grandchildren.  I am proud to call you Daughter. 

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Happy Mother’s Day Pam

Kim, my baby girl you entered the world during a trying time in my life.  Within three months of your arrival, Mama died following a two-year illness.  I am blessed she was able to hold you in her arms everyday for even that short period.  You and CJ, I oftentimes joke are still connected by the umbilical cord.  I am impressed with the countless hours you devote to ensure that CJ is afforded every opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and athletically.  Thank you for my loving grandson, CJ.  I am honored to call you Daughter.

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Happy Mother’s Day Kim

Closing Comment

Over the last few hours of writing this post, I was interrupted with calls wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day from:

  • Son, KA, and my four-year-old granddaughter – Wisconsin
  • Daughter, Pam and son-in-law GPKIII – Illinois
  • Granddaughter, Lady C, Wisconsin
  • Daughter, Kim and grandson CJ – Wisconsin
  • Nephew BW – Illinois
  • Cousin Gwen – Illinois
  • Cousin DL – Wisconsin

Hubby fixed breakfast, now preparing lunch with plans to pickup takeout dinner after watching his idol Tiger Woods today.  Well wishes from loved ones, two-dozen roses from kids and Hubby putting together meals for the entire day – what more could a Mother ask for on this special day?

My Mother’s Day Gift  – A Loving Family