So I actually wrote this post a long time ago and it’s been sitting in my draft folder. But today is the most important person’s 80th birthday. And I won’t send her a card. I won’t call her. I won’t give her a hug. Because even though she is the person I love the most, she’s a thousand miles away and doesn’t even remember my name, even if it is hers. So this is for you grandma. I love you, I’m sorry, and happy birthday.
So we all know I go by Dupree. My full given name at birth is Sarah Lynn Marie Dupree. It was gonna be Damon and I’m pretty happy that it wasn’t. But lately (and by lately I mean since my first semester at BYU) I haven’t been going by Sarah. So much so that when someone calls me Sarah it freaks me out. My friends call me Dupree and my family calls me Bear. It works.
At first dropping the Sarah was just a practical thing. Do you know how many Sarah’s are out there? Sooo many. And Dupree is not that common of a first name so it totally works.
But as time progressed I realized it wasn’t healthy for me to be called Dupree. I started to distinguish between Sarah and Dupree. It was like I was two different people. Sarah was crazy and reckless and Dupree was smart and level-headed. Lately I’ve been getting better at combining the two but sometimes I’ll slip. Like when I’m talking to myself and say that’s something only Sarah would do, not Dupree. Freaking insane.
I was trying to figure out why I cringed when I heard the name Sarah. And it occurred I did that a lot. When I thought about Mario’s. When I drank Coke. When I listened to Dixie Chicks. It occurred to me that I missed my name-sake, so much so that I couldn’t even go by her name anymore.
Let me tell you about my name-sake. Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Potter. Mrs. Potter is my Great-Grandmother. My mother’s mother’s mother. She was born Sarah Golden and married Sam Potter. She was a Southern Bell that was raised in the depression. I didn’t know much about her until I turned 9 and moved to Vernonia. I would see her every day. She lived right down the block from where I was staying with my grandparents. She was amazing. She was always home with a coke and fixin’s for a sandwich. She was the grandma that all the kids on the block called grandma. Simply an incredible human being. Right before I turned 13 I went to live with my mother who was staying about two blocks away (I lived in a small town). Things didn’t work out. One morning she woke me up at five and told me I had to pack up my things and move to my grandmothers. She was on the run from the cops. Warrants and such. I cried for days. I tried to pack, I really did but I ended up just bawling watching Dirty Dancing and 13 Going On 30 over and over again. Finally I made it to my grandmas. I stayed on her couch and slept with my mother’s pillow. I still use that pillow every night.
Anyway… That is how I ended up at my grandmothers. Slowly I settled in more. I was moved to “Sadie’s” bedroom. Till the beginning of my senior year I would spend the majority of time at my grandmothers.
She is possibly the only person I ever truly loved. And because of that I never told her. I would dread the night because I was afraid she would die and I hadn’t told her that I loved her. I was so nervous to give her a hug goodnight. But I still loved her so much. We would go get milkshakes and walk around the lake. But never on the dark side of the lake because that scared her. We would go to Mario’s and split a turkey sandwich. We would share a coke, her always grabbing two glasses from the cupboard and splitting them.
It wasn’t always happiness and rainbows. She was an elderly lady who was grouchy, losing her mind to Alzheimer’s. I was an angsty teenager trying to hold on to my last shred of patience. Looking back I wish I could spend more time with her. I wish I would have helped her more. I wish I would have told her I loved her everyday and gave her a hug goodnight.
And small things too. I wish I would have helped her carry in the wood for the stove more. I wish I would have listened to her when she told me to shut my window. I wish I would not watched my shows all the time. Or insisted we go out to Winco for groceries. Or all the random petty shit I did. I know I couldn’t have been expected to be perfect but looking back I just wish I would have tried harder.
The point. S is for Sarah and Shame and D is for Dupree and Denial.
Being called Dupree helps me run from my past and live in my little bubble of denial.
Being called Sarah drags me back to a past that I miss dearly.
Dixie Chicks- Top Of The World