The Definition Of You

Today when the sun wakes up, find a mirror and smile at the beauty that is you. No one else can define who you are. You are all the words in the dictionary that are strong and good and beautiful. Make your own definition.

In Webster’s dictionary, I can look up the definition of words. Words like, table, bacon, rabbit and slipper. I am not in the dictionary. My name, Pamela Berdeane Fernuik Hodges is not listed. My name would fall somewhere between ————- and ————-.

This is the part in my rough draft where I go and find the dictionary to see what words my name Pamela would be in between, if my name was in the 1967 edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, edited by Jess Stein.

On page 1040 in the P section, I found the word palynology, the science of dealing with the study of live and fossil spores, and then going down the list, there are the words Pam, Pamaquine and Pamela. Pam is a non-stick spray, and the short form of Pamela. Pamaquine is a compound used chiefly in the treatment of malaria. Pamela is a girl’s name and is also an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardon published in 1740. I looked up the meaning of epistolary on the internet and then I looked for the meaning in the 9.6 pound Webster on my desk.  (I weighed in on my bathroom scale.) An epistolary novel is a novel written in the form of a series of letters.

The word after Pamela was Pamiri, a member of a Caucasoid people inhabiting the Pamirs. Oh, Caucasoid means caucasian. That is what the internet can not do, have flavor. The words that sandwich other words.

The dictionary had my name, but it did not have


I am more that just a girl’s name.

I could allow the words of others to define me. People may use words that build me up, or they may use words that destroy. Words are not like post-it notes that fade with time and fall off. Words that destroy often get swallowed, and remain inside, imbedded into the tissue like a scar after surgery.

I will listen to David, when he writes that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I will look in the mirror and smile. I will use words that are strong and good and beautiful. I will make my own definition.


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