sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
Dear Little One,
I wonder what your name is. That might seem strange; no one ever gave you a name. You were gone before we knew whether to buy you a blue or pink blanket, and names tend to follow such things.
But you’re a person, and people have names. I don’t like not knowing. One of the first things we learn about someone is their name, and in families, we attached meaning to those names.
Your father’s name is Adam. I can’t hear that name without thinking of someone who swallows books whole, digesting wisdom and rejecting folly. In our family, the name Adam means “prudence,” but not the unfeeling kind. It’s cloaked in kindness; the upspring of a big heart.
Maybe you’re an Adam, too. Maybe you would have read books for hours, unknowingly playing with your earlobe. Maybe you would have found your groove on the junior high dance floor. Maybe you would have tackled some of life’s hardest questions about virtue, liberty, and the brokenness of men.
Studious. Fun. Shrewd. But best of all, full of love.
But maybe you’re an Emily, like your mother. In our family, that name is synonymous with a relentless will, a will dedicated to goodness and beauty. I would never want to get between an Emily and the task at hand.
If you are an Emily, you would have conquered this life through goals and lists, motivated to heal the grief that we only whisper about. You would have harnessed your strong will (with some help from your parents) to attack pain and replace it with peace. You would have brought light to dark places, and rested in the evening with a glass of wine.
Strong. Passionate. Good. But best of all, full of love.
But I’m guessing you aren’t an Adam or an Emily. You are something between and wholly other. You take from both and make it your own. You may even have a little silliness in you, like your favorite uncle.
One day I’ll know -- not just your name, but what it means. Until then, Little One, know that while you never had a name in this life, you still mean so much.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Associate Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University