... I do know my name! I think I'm having a belated mid-life crisis. Either that or I'm a very sloooowww thinker and am just now figuring out how to spell my name.
When I was a child, I hated my name because it sounded stuffy: Catherine Elizabeth. Plus I was named for my paternal grandmother who, I would have to say, was definitely a few French fries shy of a Happy Meal. Which, as a kid, that didn't bother me too much - what did bother me was that when we made the annual trek to Idaho to see her (no freeway, three kids fighting in the backseat of the car, parents arguing in the front seat, and no air conditioning for three whole days) she was stingy with food. No, I don't think it was that either - she couldn't cook so I don't really remember us begging for seconds at meal time. Maybe it was because she was gullible - a guy sold her a Great Dane that was half-blind and said it was a registered chihuahua... But I don't think it was that either because I actually liked the dog.
At any rate, my mother convinced me that Catherine Elizabeth was actually a royal name and then backed this up by telling me about Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great (although she left out most of Catherine's personal life when she told me about this historical figure). To have names that belonged to queens!!! I so went from loathing my name to loving it.
When I learned to write my name in cursive, no less :), I experimented with various ways to spell Cathy, Catherine, Elizabeth and derivatives thereof until I was actually impressed with my moniker! None of my friends could fill up a whole page of notebook paper with their names and never spell it the same way twice! Only I couldn't make up my mind how I wanted to spell my first name and by that time I was "Cathy" to everyone, friends and family, so I stayed with it.
Until a few years ago when I began to use the spelling that I've come to prefer: "Cathie". I put it on this blog, had it stamped on my new Bible, and such. But I'm afraid if I change it at the bank, they won't know who I am. Or the insurance company - what about them? Bill collectors - nah! They'll find me one way or the other.... And what about my long-term friends - will this signal that along with retirement, I am.. uh... losing it? HItting mid-life crisis a little late as I approach, let's see... the big six 0?
But then I think about a verse somewhere in the Bible that says He has names engraved on the palms of His hands - that even if a mother should forget her child, He will never forget His. I've seen aging relatives lose their faculties - Grandma DAvis being a case in point. I know that right now I'm toying with whether to change the spelling of my name -just having fun with it. But I also know that in ten years or so, I seriously may not know my own name, your name, my kid's name, or how to spell "cat", let alone "Cathie".
And every time I walk into a room and forget why I went in there in the first place, this realization hits me more and more.
So it's kind of comforting to know that even if someday all names should be erased from my memory bank, they'll still be engraved on His palms, imprinted on His heart and I'll still be okay. I guess I'm saying - my security doesn't lie in my mental capabilities - it lies in His.
By the way, a wonderful little book dealing with the loss of memory in a spouse is A Promise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin. It's also, now that I think about it, a great picture of how a spouse can reflect the infinite patience and unending love that God has for us - how He will always know us, even if we reach the place where we no longer know ourselves.