Sometimes the people who made us smile the most left us for reasons we will never understand. But we must honor their memory by smiling in their absence so they know we kept the best part of them with us. ~SN
I was trying to come up with an idea for a post tonight – clearing the cobwebs in my brain that had been woven during my work day. I like to write about things that have meaning for me, that strike a chord deep within me and light the passion that only words can fuel until it becomes a mellifluous production.
The image of my family crept into my thoughts and the music of their presence in my life began like a slow starting symphony. The opus of this particular operatic was my divorce, my escape from a life that was not mine to live. Single notes, soft but relevant, could be heard over the din in my head and the notes began to permeate my thoughts. The movement of their music was intoxicating and I began to sway with the rhythm.
Each section of the orchestra sounded the cries of their instrument, but the blend of those voices, the song that was created, was harmonious, and like all symphonies, it had a story to tell. The beginning of the sounds were light, easing me into the fable with their hypnotic sound. Somehow the music spoke to me and I knew there was beauty far beyond what I was living. I could feel it in the music that penetrated my skin, the octaves that dove into the reaches of my mind and brought me back to a reality where I was happy. The notes blended to create a comforting strain, the dulcet tones began to rise in volume and the crescendo was an emotional outpouring of support. The fat lady had sung, the show was over and so was my marriage.
There is always a deep, emotional story behind any operatic performance. There is pleasure, there is pain and there is death. I experienced some of the pleasure, my fair share of emotional pain and the death of a relationship. But as any opera heroine does at the end of the performance, I lifted my head, nodded to the orchestra, and prepared for the next show.
I have had the good fortune of growing up with a nickname. It has defined me in a way my given name will never have the capacity of doing. There is not a single person in my life that can recall how it originated, but I have nonetheless been called Tooie since I was a young child.
There have been many theories developed in an attempt to come up with the birth of the name, but none have resembled any sort of believable truth. There are people in my life that would struggle to come up with my legal given name, and that has never struck me as an oddity. It is a comforting feeling having people refer to my nickname as if it were the name on my birth certificate. My dad, before he passed away, made sure that my legacy follows me everywhere, literally. My last Christmas present from him was a license plate that says TOOIE.
Even though that moniker has followed me throughout my time on this earth, I would never change that part of my life. It is how I define myself. It is a term of endearment that was mysteriously bestowed on me at a young age and will follow me into my twilight years. When I am 90 years old, my nephews will still refer to me as Auntie Tooie.
Some people will shrug off a nickname as they get older, feeling like it is suspending them in an alternate linear timeline, but nicknames have a way of attaching themselves to our evolving reality. They are usually given as a sign of affection, and I will continue to embrace mine. Perhaps I will never know how it truly came to be, but I will cherish the family and friends that keep the sentiment alive and well by always referring to me as Tooie.
If you’ve ever been given a nickname….share it with me. I’d love to know what other names you go by!!