What’s in a Name, Anyway?
My mother, Delphine Quinones Preziosi died on Good Friday, April 6, 2012 . . . just 66 days after my dad, Fortunato Preziosi. They had been married 63+ years.
Neither of them went by their “formal names.” My mom never liked her name. It was an unusual and somewhat uncommon name, so she shortened it to Del and everyone called my dad, Fred.
I adored my Dad! The relationship with my mom was . . . well, complicated. I could never really seem to be the daughter she wanted to love. How do I know this? Because, whenever I did something “out of line” or not to her liking, I would hear, “If you don’t listen to me, I won’t love you anymore.” YIKES! Really, mom!!
Nevertheless, on Thursday, April 7, 2016 while driving to work, I cried out to God. “I miss my mom so much! Please God, I just want to hold her hand one more time, give her one more hug.” That was it. By all accounts, a crazy prayer . . . but remember, “with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew19:26)
So fast forward to the next week, Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – a number of churches in Vero Beach were gathering at the Indian River County Fairgrounds for corporate prayer. No praise and worship, no preaching, no speaker . . . just prayer – “A Scared Assembly.”
I arrived early, but another couple in our Cell Group arrived even earlier. They chose a great spot for our group, but decided . . . no, they needed to move to another section. So they did.
We all sat together and waited for the rest to arrive. It was really starting to fill up and the friendly chatter was getting louder.
While waiting we said hello to the people behind us. I struck up quite a conversation with this older woman, who – it turned out – had just moved from California. She had family in Vero Beach and had been to Central Assembly a number of times. She said she thought she recognized me as part of the Praise & Worship Dancers. No, I love to dance, but I was not part of that group.
By now, the room was really filling up and the chatter was even louder. But remembering I had not introduced myself to this sweet older woman behind me, I turned around, took her hand in mind and leaned in to say my name was Denise and how much I had enjoyed talking to her. She said her name was “xxxxx.” What I thought I heard was impossible! “What did you say your name was?”
“Dell,” she said, “you know, like Farmer in the Dell.” I started to shake and sob. Still holding her hand, I asked, “Could I just give you a hug?” “Of course,” she said. Then though my sobs, I tried to explain to her my earlier prayer to God.
And so here was my prayer answered, a gift given. I mean, really . . . what were the chances I would be sitting in that exact chair right in front of her – a woman just relocated from California – a woman with my mother’s name – who thought I was a dancer? By the way, did I mention, it was my mom who insisted I have dance lessons.
The Scared Assembly Gathering that night was amazing! Afterwards we all went off in different directions, but the powerful impact of that miracle remains with me.
On the drive home, I once again began to shake and sob at the memory of the moment when Dell told me her name – remembering the hug I gave her and her hand nestled in mind.
God’s miracles happen all around us, every day . . . even the seemingly impossible is within our grasp, if we just ask, believe, have faith, and then wait.
“Now to the One who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us.” (Ephesians 3:20 ISV)