30 November, 2008


A few years before I was born, my aunt had a very good friend; according to my mom, "Everyone loved Rachel. She was a really neat lady." But as life would have it, she passed away at an age much too young. Almost 30 years ago, my mother and her sister were pregnant with me and my cousin at the same time. I was to be named Rebecca, if I were a girl, or Andrew, were I a boy. A short while before I was born, my aunt found out that my cousin David would definitely be a David - and my parents decided to change my name to Rachel, should I come out a girl. Which I'm happy to say was the case!

And I love my name. I believe it fits me. It means "little lamb or ewe". And my Chinese zodiac is the Ram which is described as one who is righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, determined, peaceful, generous, seeking security, wise.

This weekend, I met the son of the woman after whom I am named. He and I were connected by my aunt - and we happen to live only a few blocks from each other. We had coffee and egg sandwiches at the local diner. And we talked about living in New York, and working in the arts, and how we liked the neighborhood, and what we wanted to do with our lives, and finally - our connection to his mother. He was only 4 when she died - and so he said he appreciates any and all stories he can hear about her and how she affected people's lives.

I felt blessed to know this Rachel story - and now to know her son.

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