My parents waited to name their 6th daughter, their last daughter, Mary. That last daughter would be me. Some children go through a part of their lives wishing they had a different name. I don’t remember going through that phase. I once had someone ask me why my parents waited so long to name one of their children Mary (I am #8). I had no answer, and when I asked my mother, she didn’t have an answer, either. It was just meant to be.
Of course I feel a closeness to Mary, since she is my namesake. As a child, I was extremely afraid of thunderstorms; more so than any of my siblings ever were. If I had a nickel for every time I said a Hail Mary during a storm, I’d be financially set to retire today. Saying a Hail Mary gives me a sense of comfort, a sense of security, like none other. (Saying "now and at the hour of our death" kind of freaked me out as a child, though!)
I have quite an imagination. This is why I avoid watching horror movies. When the movie Halloween came out, I just had to hear about it to have nightmares. After discussing it with my mother, she told me to ask Mary to protect me. She said that the devil leaves Mary alone; he doesn't even think about touching her. I guess he knows better than to mess with her!
It wasn't just horror movies. During school, we discussed Bonnie & Clyde, and we saw pictures of their car riddled with bullets. Revisiting that picture in my mind kept me from going to sleep at night. When I talked to my mother about it, the first words were Say some Hail Marys. I can't even count the number of nights I fell asleep clutching my Rosary in my hands. My Rosary was (and still is) my security blanket at night.
Even now, when something is going on with my boys or my imagination runs rampant over something I saw or heard about, I go to Mary. She gives me the comfort and security I need to push thoughts out of my mind. I know that she is my biggest advocate to her son when it comes to trials in my everyday life. I know she is right there, rooting me on.
I think it's very sad that you don't hear about parents naming their daughters Mary. I know one child named Mary, and I work in a school system. It's a beautiful name; one that holds so much responsibility, so much love with just the word. Paired with the middle name (in my case, Mary Patricia or Mary Pat), it becomes unique. Is it a "cutesie" name? Not really, but the beauty of it should override cute.
So...let's bring back the name and the honor it gives the girl who bears it. Let's give Mary the honor that she deserves. Let's strive to be more like her.