Monday, March 17, 2014
You are stuck with it for the rest of your life. I hope you are never angry at me for it. It doesn't rhyme with too many horrible things, although I admit that if anyone changes it to "Judy" (which I sometimes do in the privacy of our own home), it can rhyme with "doody" and I'm sorry about that. But I wanted to tell you how we chose your name.
The name Jude is a book of the Bible. It means "thanks" or "praise". And really, after the weirdness of the last few years, thankfulness is something I have learned to practice. I am not always great at it, and so I practice. You have an older brother or sister that is in heaven. He (or she) was not healthy enough to be born, and I was so, so sad. Your dad and I worked at a church at the time, and our church jobs got kind of hard, too. When I found out that you were coming, I was anxious, but I determined to be thankful. Thankful for each day, for each moment. I tried to remember to say a prayer of gratefulness for each day that I had with you because I was never quite certain how many I would have. I didn't know if I would get to hold you. And so I chose to appreciate the moments as they came. Every time I heard your heartbeat or felt you kick, those were moments to stop and be thankful. We had the name picked out long before you were born, but in the end, it fit. You were Jude. You have always been Jude.
Your middle name is Chapman. You will most likely only hear this name when you are in trouble, so I hope you don't hear it often. But the name reminds me of one of the most special guys I have known, your great grandpa Chapman. He was my grandpa, and he went to heaven before you were born. He was a roundish guy with lovely silvery hair and a big laugh. He cooked breakfast wearing starched blue jeans and a white ribbed t-shirt. I loved waking up at his house to the smell of fried eggs and bacon and coffee. He was an usher at church, and I remember his pre-offering prayers in his big manly voice. It was a friendly voice, but it could mean business when we grandkids were misbehaving. But most of all, I remember my grandpa reading his Bible. Once, when I was a kid, my grandma and grandpa came to stay with us while your Nana and Papa were away. I remember grandpa reading one particular Psalm that contained the word "Selah" about a thousand times, and I giggled all the way through because I thought the repetition was ridiculous. But when we would stay the night at grandma and grandpa's house, they could always be found in the morning sitting in their recliners reading their Bibles. My grandpa loved Jesus, and he loved your grandma. And he would have loved you. He was all kinds of things that I would love for you to be, and I wanted to give you his name because it means something to me. And it's a cute name. And you are cute. So it fits.
Before my grandpa Chapman passed, I sat down with him to ask him some questions and to record his answers. One day when you are older, I will sit you down and let you hear it for yourself, sweet stories from an old man who has reached the end of his life. I asked him if he got into a lot of trouble when he was a kid and he laughed and answered, "I was an angel". And I believe he was, mostly. And then he proceeded to tell me about a time that he tore up his sister's paper dolls. But really, if torn up paper dolls was all he ever got into, he was a pretty good kid. And so far, so are you. You are sweet and smiley and you do not scream when we give you a bath. You love stories at bedtime and you have slept through the night three whole nights in a row. We hope this is our new normal. We love who you are and we can't wait to see who you become, Jude Chapman Turner. You are loved so very much.