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When I was born, the nurse asked my mother what she wanted to name me. My mother said, “Sally” and the nurse (bless her!) wrote “Sarah” on the birth certificate, because Sally was a nickname.

I was called Sally as a young child, but when I got to school there were three girls named Sally in my class. The teacher asked us if one of us had a different name to use (we all kept responding at once). I raised my hand immediately and said, “Sarah!” And I’ve been Sarah to everyone ever since (except for my husband, who insists on calling me by my baby name).

“Sarah” means princess in Hebrew. Sarah was the wife of Abraham. In both names the “h” sound indicates that they were touched or specially recognized or given a special mission by God. Sarah was a woman of high rank, in any case, beautiful even into her elder years, who lived a nomadic life with her husband Abraham. It is said that during Sarah’s lifetime her house was always hospitably open.

My mother often told me about my name and said I would always be a wanderer, a seeker. I always felt it was a name I could honor by doing my best at school, by being loyal to those closest to me and by being generous, hospitable, and loving in actions as well as in words.

I like my name. And, yes, I am a wanderer, seeker, lover of learning.

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