What’s In A Name?

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The bestowing of a name gives life to an individual or an idea, a dream. It gives the impression of a particular personality. That’s why our parents took so much time to name us before we were born. The seeds for  True Color Counseling were planted some 20 or more years ago.  I was working as the Community Educator and caregiver at Housted House for the AIDS Service Agency of Raleigh, NC.   The scope of my relationships with clients and my skills as a chaplain and musician gave me the opportunity to participate in numerous memorial services. Cindy Lauper’s “True Colors”, a new release then, was a very popular choice at these memorial services. I often sang it in celebration of life bravely lived in truth.

Years past and a dozen job skill sets later, I met a professional photographer named Bob. We shared the joy of waltz and Contra dancing. Bob cultivated the patience and eye to capture the instant of joy on the face of a dancer. The kind of photos, were contra dancing a sport, that would have ended up on the cover of Newsweek or Sports Illustrated.  I had also started catering for dance weekends around the same time. He was a regular at many of the same dance weekends and took pictures of me dancing and my edible food landscapes. Thousands of photographs and dance weekends later ... then one day Bob was gone by his own hand.

Months later, I was asked by his widow to officiate at his memorial service. As I prepared my remarks, again and again, the song "True Colors" came to my mind.  The lyrics matched the moment. There we all sat in several layers of circles, and altar in the middle covered in an antique quilt of many colors and surrounded by Bob’s photographs silently shifting in and out of focus on three giant screens. After a brief welcome, I sang “True Colors” acapella carefully shifting from singing to speaking,  I changed the last verse to speak of Bob ... “Bob revealed our true colors in every photograph he took … How did he reveal his true colors to you?” The stories poured, gushed forth for more than two hours. The truth of his life and it's impact were revealed.

Bob helped me to see my true self in many photographs.  His light, his work reveals to me my intent, my path, my purpose with True Color Counseling, LLC to shine my true colors with integrity such that your true colors shine!