"Mom, how did I get my name?" I asked one day when I was about 8 years old looking for singular attention from my mother. As the third child in a family of four kids it was often hard to come by. "Umm, why?" asked my mom right back. This was known as a key tactic for when she's not really listening to the question behind the words. I rephrased the question to get her attention. "What made you decide to give me the name I have?" She came back with the unexpected reply of " I didn't really have a name picked out for you."
Hmmm, this puzzled me. I know of no relative or friend who has my name, or anything even close. I gave her a raised eyebrow in response. I could see she was uncomfortable with the way things were going. "I actually thought you were going to be a boy." She stated sheepishly. "Oh!" I said, thinking of my brother who was born three years later. "So how did I get my name then?" I persisted, not quite seeing where this is going. "Um. I didn't" she stated like saying the sky is blue. Okay this got me. My heart gave a little squeeze, while my thoughts were tumbling in upon each other. Maybe my Dad gave it to me. Yes that's it pheww.That's got to be it. Still I had to ask.
"So how did I get my name then?" I persisted. "Well" replied my mother. " The nurse named you" Dead silence stood between us. Okay this wasn't what I expected to hear. Not at all. What kid wants to hear your mother didn't care enough to name you? "The NURSE?" I asked right back. I was as stunned as an eight year old could be at such an absurd turn of what I thought would be a nice happy story. My eyes drifted to the uncomfortable squirming of my mom's body language, while my brain struggled with my heart to comprehend. "Did you know this nurse?" Again, I persisted looking for some form of connection." Not really, I think I only saw her the one time." she continued with a puzzled expression of an unexpected fact. I fell further and further away from my expectations. "Why would you let the nurse name me?" I blurted out with no tact. I admit I still feel a tinge of hurt deep in my heart today upon hearing those words out of my mother's mouth. "Well, she came in the room and said "Oh! What a beautiful baby, she looks like an Angel. You should call her Angela. So I did."
And that is how my life started. With an Italian sounding name for a French Canadian baby. Little did I know my namesake would be my true life's work. The meaning of my name is of a Greek origin and translates into 'messenger of God'. Yes I said it. But in reality it's probably not like your thinking. I'm a pretty regular kind of joe. I work to pay my bills like everyone else. I can't walk on water but I do float for some reason, don't ask me how. And sometimes I have messages for people. Real life messages not just "Hey don't forget your umbrella, you're going to need it." The source of these messages come from inherent knowing. And they can happen at any time.
I have been in common places when they happen. Public bathrooms are more private then you think. Everyone comes there to pretend what they are doing there isn't the same as everyone else and tries not to make eye contact when you come out of a stall. That is until you get to the mirror, and then it's like the social circle. Occasionally, it is more than makeup tips at the counter for myself, and the person in the mirror. I have lost count of how many occasions I have had total strangers tell me their life's most intimate details. And I have had the right things to say back to them. I have to tell you I am no self -help guru. I really have no idea how I know just what they are talking about, nor how I just know details about their lives and feelings both past and present. In a nut shell (no pun intended), until the details and stories come out of my own mouth, I also am hearing them along with the person who needs to hear them. I really have no idea what it is I am going to say. But what I do say seems to be just the right thing. As I usually get a heartfelt hug and a grateful thank you as we part ways.
Aside from the knowing is the strange affect this can have on me, and the people I am with. Telling one your heartfelt fears and dreams takes well...time. I am talking 20 minutes or more, and no one seems to notice I was gone that long. I have at times, rushed back to the table in a restaurant and apologized profusely for how long I was gone. I am met with a variety of reactions. These range from looks of surprise, to being completely ignored like I never even left the table. Not to mention how at times, a very public and busy bathroom has not one soul come or go the whole time I am speaking with the person who needs the message. Bathrooms are not the only place, anywhere, whether out and about or at home they come to me. And the messages vary widely. I have given messages about cancer. And how it will go for the people who have it. I have given warnings and information for accidents and even a missing person. I haven't been wrong yet. I admit I am waiting for the day, as I am my own worst skeptic. I also am a very logical person and I have no explanation for how I know these things. I used to think that was strange. I have to say that my definition of strange has changed considerably over the years.