Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's in a name?

Vienne & Ivy

Such sweet beautiful names, aren't they?

I so love the names that we chose for our girls.


Vienne Juliet.  I am often asked where we came up with her name.  For some random unknown reason, we were drawn to "V" names.  Originally, we chose the name Vittoria if we were to have a girl - very Italian.  We would've called her Tori because Mark loved that.  But, I never connected to that name.  Then, one random day, while I was pregnant, my Mom called and told me that she had been watching "Chocolat" - that cute movie with Johnny Depp.  The lead female character's name is Vianne with an "a".  Mom heard that and, knowing how we were drawn to "V" names, she thought she would share it with me because it is so pretty.  I immediately liked it!  And, it cracked me up that, ultimately, our daughter's name (if we had a girl) would be inspired from a silly movie!  But, it was.  We took Vianne and changed it to Vienne because we liked the sound of it much better.  We chose the name meaning from the name "Vivienne", which means "alive".  Juliet is obviously inspired from my mother's name, Julie.  Juliet means "full or life", "vibrant", or "youthful".  Vienne's name means "alive and full of life".  Ironic, isn't it?  We chose her life verse, when she was born, to be Ephesians 3:19 which says:

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."

As I sit here and fully ponder this, I am just now realizing how powerful her name and life verse really are.  Perhaps, in her very short 4+ years of life, Vienne fully understood and experienced the love of Christ and was, therefore, already made complete here on earth.  Her life verse may have even given insight to what her life was going to be, you know?  She gained the fullness of life, here on this earth, and she completed what God had intended her for, in just 4 years.  And, now it seems, as much as it pains me to admit this, that God is going to use her more in her death than He might have been able to in her life.  More people know her, now, than ever did before.  It's an undeniable fact.  This blog, her story, our grief has been spread and shared with soooo many people.  I hear, over and over again, how much she has touched your lives.  I am humbled by that.  Of course, I would not choose this...but this is the path of my life that I am slowly having to learn to resign to.

I named my daughter with a name that means "youthful" - perhaps, because she will always remain young and vibrant and full of life in our memories of her.  She was not allowed to grow old...she will remain a young precious one, in our eyes, forever.  And, my hope and prayer is that her life and her death will help to touch others with the "love of Christ"...that, they (you) too, will come to understand His love fully...that they (you) will grow to be "made complete with all the fullness of life that comes from God".  I guess this is going to have to be my life mission.



(Vienne Juliet - so full of life)

Thank you for letting her touch your lives.



And, I also want to touch on Ivy's name, as well.  Just because it is also interesting.  ;)

(my rosebud beauty - no, she is not wearing lipstick.  It's just the filter I used.)

Ivy Lynnae.  Another name with a "v".  We have a "theme".  The name Ivy was not inspired from anything we read or saw.  I just found it and immediately fell in love with it's sweet simplicity.  And, it has a V in it!   Lynnae is inspired from Mark's mom's name, which is Lynn.  It took me a while to find the meaning of "Ivy" that I liked.  I am big into meanings.  If I couldn't find an acceptable meaning then I wouldn't have chosen this name.  When you search for "Ivy" as a name, all that typically comes up is "a green vine".  Ummmm....boring.  But, then I eventually stumbled upon a page that gave a beautiful celtic meaning to the name and I knew, then, that this was it.  Here is what I found:

"The name, Ivy, represents:  Growth, renewal, connection, friendship, and opportunity.

It is also a symbol of vibrancy due to its bright green hue. 
The ivy gets its symbolism of connections and friendships because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our friendships take but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form with our friends that last over the years.
Another tribute to friendship as well as the test of time is the ivy'’s ability to grow in challenging environments. The ivy is incredibly durable and can withstand harsh conditions. This is symbolic of our ability to stick by our friends no matter what.
The ivy is also a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back. This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been."

Please note that I am, in no way into "celtic" ways but I found the symbolism and meaning that was derived from the way that the ivy vine grows to be exactly the kind of character that I would want for my daughter.  It is interesting for me to read back over this and see how applicable it is to her, now. The way that the ivy vine is "incredibly durable and can withstand harsh conditions"...."survival"..."strength to carry on".  Ivy is a survivor.  She has survived her sister's death.  She has survived a horrific tragedy that will affect her life, always.  And, I also love the picture of "connection" and "sticking by her friends no matter what".  Even more than her sister, I see Ivy being immediately drawn to people.  Not in an unabashed aggressive outgoing way...not in a way that she will run up to any stranger and say "hi".  That is not the way of either of my girls.  But, in a way that she is sweetly friendly and curious and gentle with people and new friends.  She will quietly crawl up to a new child and just sit next to them.  She will cautiously watch a new friend of mine and then eventually crawl over to her and sit in her lap.  She is not aggressive, but she is calmly sweet and friendly.  I love it so.  I just know she will be a loyal and committed friend.

Ivy's life verse appropriately comes from John 15: 1-8 which says:

“'I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Interesting and insightful, isn't it?  If she, Ivy - a strong survivor of a vine, remains in the True Vine (which is Christ) her life will be pruned (hardships will come) but the harsh prunings will serve to make her life full and fruitful.  Her strength is going to come from the trials that have already hit her young life and Christ will use that so that her walk here on earth will bear much fruit.  



(Ivy Lynnae - she wants to be your friend!)


I would never have been able to foretell these things.  I am not saying I would have chosen these ways either...but this is what we have been dealt.  I had no idea what we were really "naming" our girls.

It is so intriguing, though....what is in a name.

(my vibrant, youthful, and full of life Girl who lives in Heaven & my vibrant loyal survivor Girl who lives on this earth)



21 comments:

  1. **I do NOT know what is with all the white boxes around my text. It seems to occur when I copy and paste....though it affects the rest of my post, as well. I don't know how to avoid or fix it. Sorry. It is VERY annoying to read with.

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  2. Wow Jenny, you're right, Ivy is definitely a beauty! Prayers and hugs to you as you continue each day without Vienne. I love that name too! So pretty. What a blessing to have Miss Ivy to help heal your heart.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. This means so much.

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  3. Jenny,
    I again thank you for another 'chapter' of your blog. I am so touched by your words. I thank you for sharing the meaning of the names you chose for your sweet baby girls. You put so much thought and meaning into both first and middle names. I love that you chose a 'life verse' for each one of them as well. I'm so appreciative of your words, shared from your heart. You truly have a gift and are so willing to share your most private thoughts. Bless you all, Terry

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    1. Terry ~ Thank you, always, for your kind and supportive words. It means so very much to me.

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  4. oh Jenny - I love this!!!! I can see the healing God is doing. He is answering our prayers. Can you feel it? Thank you for sharing. I love the names you chose and their meaning. God is good! Big hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Jodi.

      I feel "changes" but I am not so enthusiastic. It is a feeling of resignation, instead.

      Thank you, always, for your support and prayers.

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  5. Beautiful names, beautiful girls, a very beautiful post from a loving mama with such pride for her girl in heaven and such hope for the future for her girl here on earth.

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    1. Thank you, Dear Friend. Thank you for continuing to support me just by reading and staying current. It means MORE than you know.

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  6. Thanks so much for this blog, I have wondered about the meaning and reason behind Vienne's name, both names are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for continuing to read and stay in touch, Sadie.

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  7. This is so amazing. Your girls radiate beauty, inside and out, and their names capture this beauty. Love you, friend.

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    1. I love you, Sweet Friend. Thank you.

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  8. I always loved Vienne's name. I am sitting here remembering when my brother called me with the news that she was born and he said, "her name is Bien!" I responded, "like "good" in spanish?" "I think so," he said. Hahaha. But no. It was Vienne Juliet, and it fit her so well. Elegant, unique, beautiful. I never knew the meaning, thanks for sharing. Love you.

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    1. I will never forget that...and it became his nickname for her.

      Love you too.

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  9. Oh, thank you so much for sharing this. Vienne is SO vibrant, youthful, and full of life...((tears))..I'm so sorry. And sweet Ivy...I just love the "she wants to be your friend" picture.. she IS a vibrant, loyal survivor. Your girls are so, so blessed to have you as a mommy. Love, Kristen

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    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment, Kristen.

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  10. Daughter...this is so beautiful...like poetry. I love my 3 granddaughter's names and all the thought you and Katy both put into choosing them (Katy & her adorable Miriam Julianne). And here we see how perfectly Vienne and Ivy's names were meant for them.

    My beautiful Vienne...forever young, vital, vibrant, full of "life eternal". You know how much I love her name. It is gorgeous and she reflected it beautifully. She is forever in my heart, wrapped around it tight.

    My sweet Ivy...also vibrant, incredibly durable, withstanding harsh conditions, a survivor, with strength to carry on. This blows me away. She has surely already lived up to her name in ways unimaginable at her young age - not only with the loss of her sister and the incredible emotional grief swirling all around her, but also with the various illnesses she has fought off this past winter. Though small and petite, she has never seemed "fragile", really. She has endured with smiles and come through. Connecting this with the very nature of her name gives me so much hope for her life, for whatever God has intended for her. And the symbolism of connectedness and interweaving...well, who can deny that Ivy crawls right around your heart and draws you in?

    Thank you for weaving God's truth into this, too. You put alot of thought into that, honey. It helps my grieving - perhaps adds some perspective. I can get lost in the sorrow of "why, God?" But the "why's" just don't seem to have any answers this side of heaven. So, I am told a better question to move on to is "how?" or "what?" What now, God? How do You want me to grow in this...how do You want to use this for good? This line of thinking does not remove my sorrow (which is ok), but it is forward movement.

    I love you so much, my dot.

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    1. Thank you, My Mama. I have come to treasure this post. It is insightful and encouraging for me.
      I will never forget how Vienne would tell people what her name was - how she would say her FULL name...starting confident and loud with "Vienne"..quieter "Juliet" and then almost an insecure whisper of "Piscitelli"....like she just knew that it was a long mouthful and maybe, just maybe, she didn't need to say the entire thing. But she did, every time...and it melted my proud mama heart. I miss her SO MUCH.

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  11. Dear sweet Jenny,
    This was so beautifully written. I too, wondered where you found the name Vienne. It is so beautiful. Your precious Ivy is so sweet, just beautiful. Thank you for sharing the meanings of their names. I love that you gave them each a life verse. *makes me wish I had done that*. For some reason, this past few weeks, I have looked up the meaning of my kids, hubby and I's names. It is amazing, how each of the meanings of our names fit so well. I had no idea when naming my kids,what their names meant. My mom didn't know the meaning of name either, *she thought she made it up*.
    Thank you again for a beautiful post. <3

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    1. Thank you, Donita. I truly love this post, as well.

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