Let me reveal a character flaw. I hate it when I have a great idea that I don’t act upon and later discover that someone else has done it with success. Darn you Jim Killeen! If you don’t know Jim, he’s the author and actor of a new documentary called Google Me.
The film documents Jim’s adventures as he locates others named Jim Killeen. I recommend it.
The first time I experienced a name coincidence I was a girl watching the 1976 Summer Olympics. The games took place in Montreal and one Tammy MacLeod was competing for the Canadian diving team. That year, she finished 14 in the women’s platform event but it didn’t matter. In my proud mind, she was golden.
Years later, my friend Brum brought me a magazine from his South American travels that detailed the life of Chilean Gaucha, Tamara McLeod, who lives with her husband and horses in Patagonia. I was amazed and convinced that there were three of us in the world.
Fast forward to the era of new media with Google, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. I started to realize there were others but in October of 2009, I began receiving accolades from friends around the world for my Sudoku prowess. Sure, I like to play Sudoku and I also do crosswords but I soon found out that one, Tammy McLeod had just snatched the National Championship. Feeling smug, I went online to locate this smart, healthy, and talented woman who is both puzzler and young mom in order to offer my own congratulations.
Soon after I’m drawn into a world where all flowers go by the same name. There’s Tammy McLeod, Chaplain at Harvard. Here is a quote from her site: “Spiritual formation is a passion of mine. I enjoy listening to peoples’ stories, journeying with them and helping them to see the movement of God in their lives. I like to teach about making space for God through silence, solitude, Sabbath-keeping, meditation on Scripture, listening prayer, fasting, daily examine, and other spiritual disciplines.” I instantly want to know her.
Another athlete graces our roll. This time, Tammy McLeod, a Canadian boccia champion who not only accurately places the ball but does so from her wheel chair. Tammy claimed third in the Paralympics and reminds us that paralympics doesn’t mean paralyzed but parallel.
Tammy McLeod in Auckland, New Zealand is full-time partner in a law firm – another working mom. She’s planning to write a cookbook and in the interim is hoping that her food blog will satisfy some of that desire.
Finally, one of our ranks lost her brave battle one year ago in the UK. Like Lou Gehrig, because her illness was so rare, doctors have named it after her; Tammy McLeod Syndrome. What struck me was not the uniqueness of her condition but the strength of her character and the joy that she portrayed to others thoughout.
There are many others and their exclusion certainly doesn’t diminish their contributions to this world or the name. I can’t explain why I wanted to write this post if only to boast that I am amongst a wise and impressive group of women. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to meet each of them one day.
But Jim Killeen beat me to the bigger story.
Tincture of Roses