Garfield crouches on the finished part of the new deck where he can see into the living room. He watches me on the couch as I practice my four lines for our daughter’s wedding.
“Rumi was a much beloved 13th century Persian poet,” I say. “Here are his words from 700 years ago.” Lines one and two flawlessly delivered.
The cat gives me an eye squeeze. He’s all about love these days, with his dog pal Ruby dead two weeks now. I look out past the cat at the sweet pea teepee which is going to seed.
Its deep purple blossoms, the same color as my party skirt, catch my attention.
I blank on the third line, which is the actual quote. Dangit.
* * *
My long purple hippie skirt sways as I walk our dirt road a quarter mile to a neighbor’s backyard party. It rained the end of last week, so the dust is minimized. My feet stay nicely pebble-free in my sandals. The Bearded One wears his Hawaiian shirt and clean picnic baseball cap. He takes my hand.
In my other hand I carry a gift bag for a 22-year-old headed to Marine boot camp in North Carolina tomorrow. She can’t take anything with her except white underwear and a sports bra, so the jam and book (Transitions by William Bridges) are really for her parents. Everyone on our road is in transition, it seems, so I ordered an extra book when I bought Momma Goose her copy.
“I’m going to introduce myself today as Christi Glover,” I say to the Bearded One Glover, my husband since 1997, and smile big. I made the decision to change my name this week, but no one but close family knows yet.
I kept Killien not only because the kids were young and we wanted them to have the same last name as their mom, but also for my children’s book writing career. Now the kids are grown and getting married, and what I’m creating is different, so I’m marking it all with the third name of my life. I was born Christi Marie Overturf, changed to Christi Overturf Killien in 1980, and now until the end, I think, I’m Christi Marie Glover. I love the “lover” in the name. It feels right.
I’m nervous. And excited. And a bit giddy. This feels like such a huge deal. The Bearded One squeezes my hand again and again as we walk. He kisses my palm.
We stay at the party for an hour. There are just a few people I don’t know, but I don’t get to use my new last name at all. In fact, even though I’m still glowing, to the rest of humanity I can see that it’s really no big deal. Which, I decide, is another good thing.
* * *
Now I remember the quote part. I get up from the couch and clear my throat. The cat listens intently.
“Let yourself be silently drawn,
by the strange pull
of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.”