Rebecca (with two c’s) Sue Riebsomer Snedegar Rebekah (with a kah) Spivey Hocke Spivey
I was born Rebecca (with two c’s) Sue Riebsomer.
When I was very young my family called me Becky Sue.
My teachers called me Rebecca.
As I grew to the towering height that I am now, my family began calling me Becky, dropping the Sue.
My Grandpa Wentz called me Sis and when we were grown, my brother called me Sis.
Beck is my favorite nickname. It feels independent and strong.
And then there was a special someone who called me Becky Beck, when he was in a certain mood, if you know what I mean.
For twenty-four years my married name was Becky Snedegar. A name I strongly identified with as a part of that family and the business we ran together. My name was known in ditch-digging, gas-line laying circles, and racing circles. A me I have no connection to any longer. Another lifetime.
When I had been divorced for a couple of years and back in school full-time at the age of 47, I decided to re-invent and rename myself. I liked Rebecca and didn’t want to change that but with names like Riebsomer and Snedegar I was really tired of always have to spell my names and listening to the butchering of said names. So I changed Rebecca with the two c’s to Rebekah with the kah and chose my paternal Grandmother’s maiden name Spivey for my new last name. She was a strong role model for me and I loved honoring her in that way. Of course, some people insisted on pronouncing it Spivvey as if it had two v’s. Or, totally missing the mark, in the case of the telemarketer who pronounced it Reebekah Spivay.
My second married name was Hocke. H O C K E. In 1996 I married an Englishman, whom I had met when I lived in Scotland; his name was Tom Hocke. My mother insisted on pronouncing my new last name Hokey, turns out she was right. Tom’s father was Czechoslovakian and my friend James wondered if Tom and I got a divorce, would he be a returned Czech. After four and a half years of marriage, he did, indeed, become a returned Czech. And that brings me back to Spivey.
In my writing community I’m known as Rebekah Spivey, it feels like a writerly kind of name. It sounds grown up, Becky Spivey, not so much, too sing songy. I like having a grown up sounding name, even though I may never achieve that status myself.
Each of these names represented the me I was at the time I carried that particular name. Each had its own weight, sense of responsibility, gifts, and challenges. I wonder who I’ll become next.
Rebekah Spivey for the Poplar Grove Muse