A gentle spirit came to earth in 1947. Born on the sweltering, hot summer day of the 20th of July, my fragile limbs and organs strained to survive in a new environment of mechanical machinery. I was barely three pounds in weight but had a will equal to 300 pounds of strength. I overcame the mechanical machines that were part of my life for several months. As I grew older, I soon realized that all of my life would be filled with challenges to conquer. Told I was rambunctious, I managed to overcome those labels with a smile. I learned to dance to amuse myself and make everyone around me happy. If there was laughter, I felt safe.
It wasn’t until I started school that I realized how difficult it was to carry a name that was meant to be given to a boy. Yes, my fathers name was Isidore. I was the boy who turned out to be a girl.
Kids were cruel when I started school. They made fun of my name and me. I was the only brown child in the entire parochial school along with one black boy child. We looked out of place among them. They made sure we knew we were different. They taunted the pronunciation of my name by coming close to me with fists and asking if they could knock on my door; which was my head. They asked if I would be able to feel their fists if they knocked because of all that puffy hair. When your 6 or 7 you can’t understand why you look different. You aren’t aware of ethnicity.
My family didn’t use my name either. They called me Doris or Dori. I never asked why. I always assumed it was because my Dad had the same name. But, they used to call him Isidoro or Izzy. When I met my hubby in high school, he called me Sandy. I never asked why. I thought it was a special girlfriend name. Everyone had sweaters with their names on them during my high school days. So, I didn’t mind having Sandy printed on it instead of my name. I thought it was a cool name.
Fast forward to today ….
I can honestly say that I had to grow into my name. It took years. I was much more comfortable with it during my artistic career which began when I was 36 years old. It served me well because it is unique. I’m really proud of my name now. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. It has helped me to be successful in my business. I sold handcrafted jewelry for 28 years under that name. It was my name and my brightly red dyed hair that helped people remember me. It was as unique as my handcrafted silversmithing.
During the years, I’ve worn many, many hats. I’ve been an interior decorator, a buyer for a well-known clothing manufacturer, a gal Friday for a major insurance company, a dancer and the president/owner of an artfully designed jewelry business and copper sculpture business. I am a wife, mother and grandmother of 8. Now, I am a novice photographer and writer.
I never thought I’d touch people in so many ways with my words and images. I’m happy I’ve been able to do that. I’m even happier that I’m accomplishing the goal I had set for myself which is touching the hearts of all people in this world we call cyber.