Those relationships soured. But I was stuck with the name. After all, when I adopted this five-year-old 1.5 years ago, I had changed his name from the stupid "Bruiser." At eight pounds, he was hardly the Bruiser type.
It took a while for him to adjust to his new name. But that he did. Last week I decided that I could no longer live with the memory of two friendships which I perceived to have gone very wrong. But I had to stay within the sound pattern of Lee.
What has worked splendidly is "Lily of the Valley." Maybe it's the warmth in my voice when I say, "Lily of the Valley, Mommy loves you very much." Maybe it is the undercurrent of joy that I am freeing myself from some brutal pain in the past. Maybe it is the timing of the coming of spring that makes "Lily of the Valley" resonate with both my animal companion and myself.
At the next blessing of the pets, I will have Lily of Valley baptized with the new name. Afterwards, we will celebrate with Dairy Queens. Chocolate with chocolate dip for me. Child-size vanilla in a cup for Lily of the Valley.