In my first post “She Kissed the House”, I explained that the first time I decided to write, it was a letter to Brad. To this day it remains the only thing pertaining to this blog that I have physically written on paper. There is something captivating about a hand-written letter. Written words carry emotions with them. Try this: think about your child or your partner even, sending you a text message that says, “I Love You”. Now, think about finding a post-it note with the same, “I Love You”, but hand-written and signed by that person.
Which one would be more meaningful to you? The note would. Moreover, you would take that note and place it in a special spot. A hand-written note moves you so much that you want to encounter it as often as possible. I am confident that as you read this you are already envisioning a moment in the past where this has happened to you. This is not some groundbreaking discovery. We all know this.
It was finally time. I had summoned enough courage to pick up the pen. As I started to write, I immediately felt like he was over my shoulder reading every word. Here is where my mind was at that time: if I could speak with Brad, but I only had 5 minutes, what would the conversation be about. He obviously knows how much we miss him. He knows of his brother Brannon and his sister Mila. What could I tell him that he did not know? Something that would impress him, or even make him smile. It did not take long to figure it out. I would explain to him how we chose his name.
At some point in life, every child questions their parents about where their name derived from. Since this was one of the many parent/child moments taken from Sarah and I, it felt like a perfect start. When we chose his name, it felt so right. I had envisioned often the conversations we would have about it. The same conversations I have had with Brannon and even 4-year-old Mila.
My letter to him was simple, it read,
“I can not remember how long it took us to decide your name, but I do know that once we did, we were 100% sure that it would not change. When we started thinking about it we had only one goal in mind, we wanted it to be a very strong name. As I remember it, the first name that came to your mom’s head was her grand father, William Miller. In my mind William was a very strong name, I liked it. I also thought it was pretty cool that my mom’s father was named William as well. It seemed as if it was meant to be! Though it was easy to say that would be your first name, we thought hard about your middle name. Your sister Milas’ name came from a well respected actress. We just thought her name sounded great and was a little different, your mom and I are a little different ourselves, so it just felt right. Naturally it made me think about my favorite actor when thinking of your name, Brad Pitt. So I looked him up on the internet. Guess what? His first name is William. William Bradley Pitt. Again it seemed as if it was meant to be. Also, I found that Brad Pitt was born on a very distinct day, Mila’s birthday. This was now a very easy decision for us. We liked the name so much that we decided to let you go by Brad but keep William as the first name, William Bradley White. Not long after we found out you were a boy we started referring to you as Brad. There was no question, it just seemed right. You were going to go through life as Brad White, which I also thought sounded similar to your brother’s name Brannon White. All these similarities were not coincidence, they were what I saw as signs.”
That is how the letter ended too. I did not want it to end, just in case I left something off, or wanted to pick it back up. The relief I had from that short letter was enormous. It lifted so much weight off me. It made me feel close to him. I am sharing this with you because I feel like it can help you too. Not everything in life comes gift wrapped. Unexpected death of a loved one is the greatest example of that. You wish you could have said goodbye. You think about the last time you saw them. You wish you could communicate to them one last time. The pain is unreal. This short letter relieved some of that pain- not all, but some. Again, I do not think this is a ground breaking discovery, but like anything in life, sometimes you need a little validation. Sometimes you need to know that someone has done something before you yourself will try it. You may have doubts, but hopefully my story helps you push aside some of those doubts.
I have to find something positive within every negative situation, that has become my life goal. That all started the day I picked up the pen and started writing to Brad. You should try it too, you never know where it may lead you.