Friday, April 17, 2009

becoming kate

photo by Dan Gheban

One thing that I love about having a blog, is being able to write whatever I want, whenever I want. I am just so glad that I followed that link! I'd been posting on the widow's message board but was getting tired of it. Not so much the newbies, who went there to find validation and support, but the more seasoned widows that fancied themselves overly important and started flame wars to prove it.

Anyway, many of you will remember Kamai40 from JS, who was widowed the year after I was. She posted a link on her sig line at widownet, and I followed it. The idea of an online journal was especially nice, since I had fallen for Bill and needed a place to document all the drama of my LDR. I liked it so much, I kept it when he finally moved here, when we got Em, when we got married, and all through the trials and tribulations of selling life and health insurance.

But I wasn't always becomingkate. When I was first widowed, my username was kate2108. I had chosen "Kate" because I felt that the person I was before didn't exist anymore, now that Dale was dead. You know how after being coupled for awhile, you're never just "Kathy" anymore, but "Dale and Kathy"?

Going back to just Kathy was one of the hardest things I'd ever done, and while I had a full time job and a teenager and an apartment, I wasn't truly living in real time. In the six, seven, eight hours I spent online after coming home from work, I changed myself to Kate. I was kate2108 because my wedding anniversary to Dale was August 21, 1993.

Later, when the first WN crashed, I changed my username to becomingkate. That was halfway through 2003, and my transformation was just beginning. I didn't want to be the resentful bitch I was when Dale was drinking, and I didn't want to be the martyr I'd been when he was dying. I wanted to be known as someone in transition - someone who was recovering, but good natured and funny. Tough, but sexy, and loyal. Someone trying to be a better person, a better Mother.

It was sometime in 2005 that I felt I'd finally become the person I wanted to be. Bill had been calling me Kate since we'd met, Em called me Kate instead of "Mom". Just recently, she was being a smart aleck and said "Okie-dokie, KATHY?" and I replied, "Hey! Show some respect."

"Whattya mean?" she asked.

"I'm your Mother, you can't call me Kathy. Kate means MOM to you, Missy."

And I meant it.


  1. haha!! great come back!

    i had a JS account and posted like, 4 times in it, i think? only one person in my real life new me there (gossamer/aka/maurita mason), and i blogged about something very personal just to get it off my chest. i have this blog obviously, but my entire family & friends read it, so you know...
    anyway, it was nice hearing about how you came up with your name - i love that it means something special to you. mine's just 'my name' LOL
    oh, and my husband and i were married on aug 21, 2004. =)

  2. Sometimes names mean more than we think....just like yours. Glad to hear you have found yourself once again :)

  3. I liked reading this :-)

  4. Thanks Kate, I had wondered about the 'becoming' Kate and I'd seen others call you Kathy so I wasn't sure. It all makes perfect sense now - Kate is the new you, the phoenix rising from the ashes so to speak.

  5. That's very cool Kate --- when I first registered with WN back in 2001 I was rainbow5508 -- rainbows played a huge part of my grief recovery. When I had to register again I was over the rainbow and just used Joanne -- so I am usually jayjay or Joanne online -- just plain and simple (sort of)

  6. Just like you, a very special and personal post. I enjoyed learning more about your metamorphosis...

  7. Funny how blogs help, each in their own way. I've enjoyed reading yours, Kate.

  8. I remember reading about how you picked your handle back in a JS entry. It is really fitting.

    Ah, names... mine is really "Dorothy", but no one EVER calls me that, ever. It's now used only on official documents, for everyone else I'm "Dorrie", or for JS'ers, "Westy". heehee

  9. Thanks for the explanation – I suppose I should have known it from back on Journalspace, but I always was a rather patchy reader of blogs, and I didn’t like to ask “Why ‘becomingkate’?” for fear of revealing my ignorance.

  10. That's a good story, Kate, and it makes sense why you would choose that name. My JS name came from one of my email addresses and I'm glad it's gone. My current username makes no sense and means nothing :-)

  11. I've noticed that in forums which is probably why at this point in time I avoid them like the plague. People who have been there for a long time become self appointed snobs and often create havoc just because they feel they have some senority right......I've seen innocent newbies do, or say the wrong thing and get flamed. Can't stand it.......
    As for the evolution of your seemed so fitting. You went through the steps, and you did become Kate. I'm glad you did. I imagine anyone calling you Kathy is like people calling me Becky. I was there once, and now I'm not. Show the respect I earned getting away from that name :o)

  12. I am enthralled by your writing.

  13. Rebecca - yes, thank you! Forums are not for the faint of heart. I appreciate your comment.

    Thanks everyone! Thank you Burst - that's such a nice compliment!

  14. I like getting to know you a little better!