When I was born I was given the name Sherri Loma Root. This name was just great until I was in about 5th grade and the middle name of Loma sounded too weird. I remember a substitute teacher who was taking role call one morning and she was asking everyone what the middle initial represented in their name and when it came to my turn, without hesitation, I lied and said -Lynn. Sherri Lynn just sounded great to me. I wouldn’t have to reveal my true name which to my 5th grade self sounded so embarrassing.
I remained Sherri Lynn in public when need be, but of course to my grandma who was named Loma, I certainly didn’t reveal my secret. I loved her so much and didn’t ever want to hurt her feelings or let her know I thought the name we shared was weird. I don’t think I really ever talked about my full name again until one day in 9th grade. Enter another substitute teacher and role call. Much to my horror she announces to the entire home room class, “ Oh – Sherri Loma – what a unique and beautiful name.” YEP ! I was ousted by the substitute with immediate claims by my friends, “ I thought your name was Sherri Lynn!” I quickly began to pretend I was studying for my vocabulary test and refused to make eye contact with anyone. I was hoping it would just blow over but remember this is 9th grade and no such luck. I enter the cafeteria that day to the chanting of LOMA, LOMA, LOMA! I decided I would embrace my name that day and I told everyone I was named after my grandma who I was super close to and the reaction was – cool! I appreciated the low level response.
I told my grandma this story and she had a good laugh. She said, “ Well, at least it is your middle name, I have had to try and spell it and explain it my whole life.” Then we both had a good laugh. My grandma shared with me that day that she was the baby of 13 children and when her mom was pregnant with her she traveled to California to visit her daughter who was an artist. Her daughter lived in California. Point Loma to be exact and her mom fell in love with the beauty of the ocean view from the cliffs. She vowed that if she had a little girl, she would name her Loma and she did.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to San Diego and one of the sweet ladies I work with took me to her alma mater – Point Loma University. The view was spectacular! I was really wishing I could have called my grandma that day to tell her I finally saw the beautiful place that inspired our name. My grandma has been gone for a long time now and as I have gotten older I realize we share more than our name sake. She also passed along her love for gardening, music, and baking and the ability to appreciate beauty in our surroundings. I love my middle name and I am thankful for the love of my sweet grandma. As I stood at the cliffs I sent up a silent prayer, thanking God for the presence of my grandma in my life and for the beauty He creates that inspires us in so many ways, even in naming our babies.
Do you know the story of your name? Would love to hear from you.