Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's in a name...

Here is a letter Chloe received soon after Sara passed away...

My name is Chloe. My dad was stationed with Mr. Brady and Ms. Sara while they were in Misawa, Japan. We still live here, and they are remembered often among the entire community. I was told this was the address where I could send a letter to little Chloe. I would greatly appreciate it if it found its way into her book. :)
Thank you


For a while now I've been struggling with what to say to you about your mom. I don't know how old you'll be when you read this or if we'll have met already. Nothing I could say about her will be something you haven't heard already, how wonderful she was and how she radiated with love, and her trademark smile....

The only difference between me and everyone else who's written to you is, name is Chloe, too. And I'm only 15, just a kid.

Your mom surprised me with how warm she was with me, when I first met her. She was an adult, and I expected her to be somewhat distant, like how other adults treated me. But I was wrong. She was so loving! Every time she'd see me she'd give me a hug, and she'd ask how I was, and I felt like she truly cared about my well being, as though we were good friends.

Now that she's gone, I realize I took that for granted. She was someone I deeply respected and admired and aspired to, and I wish I'd let her know that before she left earth.

But I'm letting you know that now, her daughter. The fact that you and I share the same name, and your mother knew me before and during the time she was pregnant with you, makes me want to live up to the name, "
Chloe." Do you know what I mean?

What if I had made her not want to name you
Chloe? What if she had seen how I behaved and disapproved of it so much that she thought, "My daughter can not possibly share the same name as THAT girl!"

I'm glad that's not what happened though.

The fact that I share the same name as the daughter of Sara Sullivan makes me want to live up to it! That's something I can be doing the rest of my life. I want to meet you someday, and when I do I don't want you to be ashamed of me; our name. A name means a lot, even if it seems so little.

I'm truly blessed to have known your mom for as little of time as I did, and I'm sorry you couldn't. But know that she LOVES you! My goodness does she love you, from where she is up in heaven! We'll all be able to see her again someday, and all this sadness experienced on earth will not matter anymore.

Live in a way that will make her proud.

Your sister in Christ,


I still get choked up every time I read that letter.

Last year when Sara was undergoing chemotherapy, we had some house guests staying with us. Meet Matt and Kristi...

Matt and Kristi

Matt and Sara

Matt and I went to college together in Florida and have kept in touch ever since. Matt graduated college and became an Air Traffic Controller, but really wanted to fly. After numerous discussions with Matt about life in the Air Force, he weighed the decisions and signed the dotted line to join the military. After a year of pilot training, Matt was selected to become an instructor pilot and his training for that assignment took place in San Antonio. Thus, the reason they were living with us for a few months.

Kristi visited a few times for 2-week stints. The final time that she visited, Sara was already on bed-rest at the hospital.

Kristi and Sara

After my long days at work and the hospital, it was so nice to come home to a home-cooked meal. Matt and Kristi thought that we were doing them a favor by letting them stay at our house, but in reality they were a HUGE BLESSING to us.

Why am I telling you about Matt and Kristi? Well, as Chloe's letter above says, "A name means a lot, even if it seems so little."

This past Christmas Eve, I got a phone call from Matt. He was calling to inform me that he and Kristi had just found out that they were pregnant with a baby girl...and they wanted to name her Sara.

Baby Sara was recently born and I am looking forward to watching her grow up. I have lots to share with her about her namesake.

Baby Sara

There is a song by Sidewalk Prophets called These are the Words I Would Say. Soon after Sara died, a friend emailed and said she felt like these are the words that Sara would say to Chloe. Now, I feel like Sara would also want Baby Sara to hear them...

And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the LORD and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,

Don't live life in fear,

Forgive and forget,

But don't forget why you're here,

Take your time and pray,

These are the words I would say

Matt and Kristi...Thank you for honoring my wife by naming your daughter after her. Welcome to the journey of parenthood.

Behold, children are a gift from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. --Psalm 127:3 (NAS)