News Flash! I have experienced a name change! Change is not always easy and those who know me have often heard me say, “I love a good rut.” I do prefer steady and constant, but I am so blessed to embrace this new change that I have been given.
When I met Warren, a widower of five years, I was told by the friend who introduced us that, “Everyone loves Warren.” She was right and shortly there after, I fell in love with him! After two years of dating and engagement, we married one month ago today, July 21, 2018. Since then life has been a whirlwind. Having been a single woman for well over a decade and truly settled into my routine, I now relish sharing a home, meals, prayer time, and friends with Warren. We bike, hike, travel, take photos together, and encourage each other to explore. As a couple I have experienced and enjoyed so many new life adventures that I have lost count.
The biggest and maybe toughest change and life adventure so far is changing my name. The change is a good thing, mind you, but not always so easy. The change started with making a list of places, groups/organizations, billing accounts, driver’s license, Social Security, bank accounts, credit cards, tax returns, insurance, retirement accounts, newpaper/magazines, social media platforms and a passport. Some of these changes were done simply over the phone, while others required a copy of our marriage certificate. Then there were the accounts that required the original certificate of our marriage that prompted the change, hence, why my passport was the last thing I changed.
Having completed almost all of the name changes on all of the forms, I must focus on changing me and how I introduce myself…”Hi, my name is Terri Michels.” More than a handful of times, I’ve heard myself say, “Hi, my name is Terri DeGezelle, OH, wait a minute, that use to be my name, I am now, Terri Michels.” This is usually, followed by giggles from all who heard me. In my defense, I was Terri DeGezelle longer than any other name I had in my life. I am an author under Terri DeGezelle and I have two pens names, Sarah Heiman, my maternal grandmother’s name and Theresa Longenecker, my maiden name as well as my paternal grandmother’s name.
When I am old, I will be so confused when asked my name, that I am entertaining thoughts of tattooing my name, Theresa Ann DeGezelle Michels to my right arm. First name, Theresa, Middle name, Ann DeGezelle, Last name, Michels and nick name, Terri. Thank God, I can remember my birthday!
So this is my formal announcement: I have taken change by the horns, taken the plunge, and given change a run for its money. I am married to a wonderful, loving man and proudly, I have taken his name… Terri Michels.