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Theodore Miles to go before I sleep

My husband came to me where I carved out my bit of bed. He knelt his body, he knelt his head, and he did what any boy who loved the grand woman of his youth would do. He cried.

She battled Alzheimer’s disease for years. Despite the cruelty of the disease, our memories of her lovely warmth were never diminished. A Saturday morning phone call brought the news she was gone. We hugged and cried with each other. Sometime during the previous evening, the world lost Dorothy and my husband lost Grandma Dodo.

He left to tell the kids, who were downstairs. I remained in bed, where my second week of bedrest was taking a vow to be more patient with our situation. What a strange, bittersweet week for my husband’s family.

His brother and his wife had their first baby on August 3rd. Death dealt a blow on August 6th. I was carrying a little cousin, a little great-grandson, doing my admittedly-fitful best to see it through to a happy ending. It was almost overwhelming to consider how and why these collisions of life and death occur until you are forced to consider that the world would be a terrible place if they never occurred.

Grandma Dodo would have loved her two littlest ones and there is no doubt they would have loved her.

Our baby boy was born on Monday, August 23rd at 10:29am. He needed a name. She has a name, even now. It can never be taken away, but it can be honored.

Dorothy means “gift from God” and Theodore means the same.

We weren’t considering Theodore as a front-running name until she was gone. Then it seemed right and full of gravity—not in the stern sense of the word but in the freedom only gravity can provide. It’s the freedom to look back through years we’ve never lived, but can claim because we were loved by those who came before us. It’s an anchor thrown by people like Grandma Dorothy ahead to the future. We caught it. We caught him.

Miles is Theodore’s middle name. We simply liked it as a middle name with several of our possibilities. Miles also happens to be the name of Grandma Dorothy’s father. I did not know that until after he was named. I like Miles because it makes me think of a journey made by foot. Why I don’t think of a journey made by stroller or chuckwagon or 1967 Dodge Charger, I don’t know.

By foot, by force, by sole propulsion. Though forests, over hills, ever moving. That’s Miles in my big imaginary baby name book.

Our little baby has a name. He also has a birth story, which I will share soon.

26 comments to Theodore Miles to go before I sleep

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