My name is Theresa. Not the latin, Teresa, but the European Theresa with an H. I was named after Saint Therese, “The Little Flower” who was my mother’s favorite Saint. According to LittleFlower.Org She was known for her love and died at a young age. I was not named after Mother Theresa as many people assume.
There was a singer in the 1990’s named Joan Osborne who sang a song called St. Teresa, which I think is about St. Teresa of Avila, which is not the same Saint my mother loved.
Theresa is a popular name around the world and has multiple pronunciations. As recorded on NameBerry.Com, Theresa was “A Top 100 name until the 1960s, reaching Number 32 in 1956, Theresa fell off the list completely in 2011, while the sleeker Teresa still holds at Number 608; it was as high as Number 18 from 1961 to 1963.”
My mom taught me to pronounce my name as T-HER-EE-SA or TUR-EE-SA although some other pronunciations would be TAIR-EE-SA or TUR-AI-SA. Then of course there is the more Spanish Pronunciation of T/d-E-RR-E-SA, with the vibrating R and the T sounding like you have a swollen tongue.
Don’t ever ever call me Terry. But I don’t mind the Spanish “Terre.”
I used to dislike my name. I used to want to change the spelling. I tried Treesa for the a short time my freshman year in college when I wanted to redefine myself. Shed my skin.
Now I love it. I love it because it is not strange or unique, but few people actually have that name, so I feel special because of it.
In my 20’s people called me T or CrookyT, which was fitting because I was wild then with a crooked toe and a crooked tongue. Now most call me Theresa or Treese, but every once in a while an old friend will text or call and call me T. Not Tea like iced tea, but just the letter T. It makes me feel happy and young.
I heard once that when you go to heaven you get a different name. One that represents who you are at your core. I don’t identify with the actual Greek meaning of Theresa—harvester or reaper. I think of a gardener and I kill plants, I don’t harvest anything but the consequences and blessings of my actions. Reaper is worse–I think of the grim reaper or Tiresias, the blind prophet whom Odysseus meets in Hades. I don’t identify with death. I think I’m more of a life lover. More of a flower lover like St. Therese. Sometimes I think my name should mean Worrier because I worry so much about everything. What if this and what if that. God has been working on me. Teaching me to worry less and trust him more. To put on his armor. And yet the initial worries I naturally have, make me pull out a bow with a quiver-full of weapons–an arrow that prays, and others that plan, punch, and problem solve. So in the end, everything often comes out fine. Which then makes me think my name should mean instead, Warrior. That’s what I hope God tells me when I meet him face to face–“Good job my faithful servant. You are Warrior.”