Michel: What’s in a name? Define yourself in best image

Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 7, 2017

My mom’s changing her name.

Now she is the least likely person of anyone I know — living or dead —  to ever want to do such a thing but it’s the best option at this point.

When she tried to renew her driver’s license, the new requirement to provide a birth certificate threw her into uncharted waters.

Every religious, school and civil document she has records her name as Jeanne Ann Boé — every document except her birth certificate, on which she is Anne Jeanne, which came as a surprise to us all.

So she has completed the process of changing her name and having a new certificate issued.

In the midst of this process, I also discovered that her surname Boé, was once spelled Bouy.

Story goes that her Aunt Alice didn’t want to be teased about having a name spelled so closely to buoy, so she changed it.

In her French prayer book, now in a cousin’s possession, Alice wrote her name, then later drew a line through Bouy and wrote Bo.

My mom’s name-changing procedure was much more complicated.

What’s your name?

Not the one on your birth certificate or the one others use, but how do you refer to yourself?

Sometimes as soon as I wake up, my first thought is of my failures, the things I’ve left undone or the tasks ahead, which I feel unqualified for and unworthy of.

Rather than go another day referring to myself in those negative ways, I want to change the names I call myself.

I want to begin each day focusing on 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.