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E for my name

E is the first letter of my birth name. Elizabeth. The name I was called when in trouble as a child. That four syllable word hollered by my momma that got my attention instantly. My sisters got first and second name callings: Christine Elaine and Deborah Marie. See…each four syllables.

E-liz-a-beth!

And I came running. It was the name spoken at my Catholic sacraments. The name on my diplomas, driver’s license, marriage license and divorce judgment. It is the name on my children’s birth certificates. A formal uniform. My Sunday dress. And in my little girl heart it is the lovely, girlish, twirly name I adore. It sounds so sweet and feminine. And in business, so proper and elegant.

And it is the name that only strangers call me.

If someone calls my home or my office and asks to speak to Elizabeth, they don’t know me. If they have met me and been introduced to me as Elizabeth, they really met Lisa. Lisa is my everyday wear, the name of the girl who climbed trees and had filthy bare feet. Lisa wore boy clothes and had braces with HEADGEAR. Have mercy on me. Lisa swam to a medal at the Junior Olympics, got the scholarships to college and medical school and has made herself a success as an adult. Lisa is the girl who had toy machine guns and could clock any boy on the block is necessary. She was loud and probably annoying. [Maybe still is, I don’t know.] Lisa does the work and all the credit gets put under the name Elizabeth. And this disparity is part of the origin of this blog. Who is the real Lisa if her real name is Elizabeth?

Elizabeth is a quiet girl, a still girl, a tiny, little thing. An introvert. An observer. She envied the long haired tresses and crinoline dresses. Elizabeth was and is the wallflower, my Achilles heel, my unprotected soft side. Lisa is bold and pushy and brazen. Lisa is my tough girl. Lisa is what gets the shit done. If you know me…you call me Lisa but if you really know me you know at my heart, at the center of me sits pretty, sweet little Elizabeth.

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