Mark Blackshear: From a Photographer's Blind

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August 22nd, 2016


I never dated in my adolescent years, and upon graduating from high school, I remained single for quite some time. During which time I remember listening to a discourse about some of the women mentioned in the Bible. And the unfamiliar and unique name Keturah, Abraham’s concubine and second wife, after Sarah, was spoken about.

That name stuck with me, and I promised to myself, that if I ever got married, and had a daughter, that is the name I would like her to have. That was maybe between the years 1970 to 1972. In the early part of  1974, I fell in love with someone, and she with me, and not to waste time, we got married in December, that very same year. During our courtship I shared my desire mentioned earlier, and later we mutually agreed on the name Vashti, as her middle name.

One Sunday morning I remember fixing a special dish consisting of rice, raisins, and honey.  And shortly after delightfully consuming a portion, it found its way onto the floor of our little apartment. My wife couldn’t hold anything down. That was probably March of 1975, and shortly after that we were blessed to know that we were expecting a child. For reasons I can’t explain, I was certain that we were having a girl, so it wasn’t until very late in the gestation period that we researched and selected a boy’s name, just in case.

For the longest time I believed that the two names meant perfumed, beautiful woman. However, in a recent Internet search I discovered the definition, “fragrance,” for Keturah, and “beautiful,” for Vashti.  I suppose one might think me a little presumptuous or even ambitious, to give such a lofty moniker, to an unborn child. Throughout her childhood, I had the privilege of calling her by her given name. I’d smile when folks remarked on how beautiful her name was. I am very happy to have had that special time.  These are a few preserved precious moments during the time when she was my special little girl.


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