I pull my office chair up to the desk. Another morning at work is about to begin. After I move the mouse. the desktop comes back to life — I wait. A small pop-up window is displayed like it is every morning. It awaits the keystrokes that will access the multiple tasks that are lined up for the business day. I type in my username, hit tab and begin to enter my password. The password is the hardest part of my day.
With three children running around the house for the last twelve years, you would think that I had a handle on exactly which name belongs to each child. However, I have noticed at least once a week I seem to struggle. It usually goes like this. I see a child of mine involved with an activity that I want stopped. I go to call his or her name and this comes out, “Cassidy…Aiden…Miley…ah! Caleb, stop jumping off the couch!” My children usually laugh and mock my feeble attempt to identify them. To add insult to injury, I’m upset that I added the name ‘Miley’ to the list this time — being that this is the name of our 3-year-old dachshund.
After the laughter has subsided and Caleb has jumped one more time off the couch, my mind wonders if it could juggle another name. There was supposed to be another name on that list. There was supposed to be another name that echoed off the walls of our home. There was supposed to be another name that once called would be followed by a squeaky voice saying, “Coming daddy” and the pitter-patter of bare feet running across the laminate floors. It was supposed to be her name.
My wife and I had the name ‘Isabella’ picked for a couple of years. In fact, until we found out he was going to be a boy, Caleb was Isabella. Once the doctor said, “it’s a girl”, the next time around, we both smiled and instantly knew that we would finally get to put to use the beautiful name that had been dancing around in our minds. Once the doctor said, “there is no heart beat” 37 weeks later, we both cried and instantly knew that her name would remain just in our memories.
Although we had chosen the name so long ago, it wasn’t until after we lost her that we investigated the meaning of it. We were amazed, encouraged, saddened and heat broken with what we found. Among the list of meanings, God’s Promise jumped off the page. Knowing that we would’ve most likely nicknamed her ‘Bella’, it was even more emotional to see that this name meant, “Beautiful”. God’s beautiful promise.
We struggled at first with the seemingly ironic name meaning. We had been waiting for nearly nine months. God’s promise that we were having a baby girl was broken the day we lost her. It took months for the promise to take shape and become something we looked to for encouragement. Our faith allowed us to believe that the promise was still bound as we would see her again some day.
Her name. It’s only been spoken following tears, at her grave site or in the midst of a difficult conversation with someone who has inquired about our loss. The beautiful name spends most of its time in my mind. It is wrapped around my heart, silently day in and day out. It will never be called out in a series of names as I try to get one my children’s attention. This doesn’t stop me from saying it every day. This doesn’t stop me from the meaning of it bringing my thoughts to a brief stop each day and as I finally begin entering in the password at my desk, it is a name I see everyday.
How about you? How did you choose the name of the baby you lost? Did you know the meaning before that fateful day? Has the meaning of their name become even more special to you? When do you get to say his or her name?