What’s in a Name?

Names are significant, the first thing to define us as a person. Expectant parents spend much time choosing just the right one. They may choose the name of a relative or close friend.  A name’s meaning may also play a role in their decision making.  No matter their reasoning, the label is given.  And once you have that name, you have an identity…and a way for people to quickly get your attention.

Take for example my husband, Gart.  No, there’s not supposed to be an “h” on the end. And yes, I’m sure his name is not Gary.  He was named after his great grandfather-although there have been some family disagreements about whether the original name was Gart or Garth-but here we are.  He likes to joke about his name.  Things like–third grade was the worst year, that’s when kids learn to rhyme.  Or–trust me, you don’t want to play the name game with a name like Gart.

His name automatically brings a smile or a quizzical look when first heard.  Most people seem unsure.  As if they’re thinking,  “Did I hear that correctly?” or “Do you realize what that rhymes with?”  The answer to both is, “Yes!”  It is an unusual name, requiring a strong personality.  And adding his sense of humor to that strength creates an amazing combination.

From the time we met, Gart has always had the ability to make me laugh.  I remember early in our relationship one particular evening hanging out with friends.  Someone said, “Hey, Gart—tell us that story again about when you were caught in a tornado!”  Well, next thing you know everyone in the room was seated on the floor in front of him, intently listening to his crazy story.  And soon, we were all rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably.  It was as if they were hearing this tale for the first time.

After twenty-five years of marriage, he still makes me laugh—almost on a daily basis.  Not that there haven’t been tears, just ask anyone who knows me.  But it is humor that has kept our relationship strong.  Choosing laughter has helped us through some difficult, stressful situations.  And thankfully his sense of humor has been passed on to our children.  They each show it in their own unique way, but its presence is undeniable.

It makes me wonder.  How did growing up with the name Gart affect the person he is today?  Would his personality be the same if his name had been Gary or Garth?  Silly questions I’m sure.  The important thing is I love him and I love his name.  Truth is, it fits him perfectly.


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