Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dear Samwise,

There are not enough words in any language to tell you how very much I love you.  Instead, I hope this letter and your name can do that for me if I am not able to do so myself.

Two days ago your grandmother made a cute and happy comment on facebook about your name.  She and I could never have imagined just how many ignorant little trolls would crawl out into the darkness of the internet to feed their need to call me names for that choice.  By the time you are old enough to read this I expect facebook will be pop-culture history and seem pointless and silly.  But tonight it has me thinking about your life, past and future.

By the time you can read this there is a good chance you know what kind of scary complications my bringing you into this world has involved.  No, this pregnancy has not been easy on us both but it has also been such a blessing.  Just weeks from your original due date and I am painfully aware there is still the chance that something could go wrong and I will not live to ever hold you in my arms or see your tiny fingers and toes.  So instead I want to tell you how much you mean to me.

Bringing you into this world is the most terrifying I have ever thought about doing.  Understand it will always, ALWAYS, be the very best thing I have ever done.  You are my light when all other lights have gone out. Knowing the reality of just how deadly the complications can be and how risky the treatment could be to you if I was selfish enough to take an easy escape.  Knowing you had less hopeful odds than a coin toss in surviving through to the "safety" of twenty-six weeks and yet, and then crying with joy when we could still find your heartbeat at thirty weeks.  You faced more darkness and danger than all of Mirkwood before you had lungs to even chance a first thin breath.  

My boy, my tiny hero, you are already ten times the man anyone in a story or behind a computer "shield" will ever be.  For you, little Samwise, the fires of Mount Doom will mean no fear and nothing but triumph; your long journey home is nearly done and the rest of the world who must cast off their burden of ignorance, anger, and hopelessness while you bask in a warm glow of love from the family that cannot wait to meet you. If the coin toss lands against us and I cannot say it in person, please let these nerdy words do it for me.

You really are the best of us, little Samwise. Your father and I made a choice of name for you out of so many "normal" or "unusual" options that we felt means something more. When the rest of the sworn fellowship gave up, betrayed their vow, or turned to gather glory and crowns in other battles, it was the "half-witted" gardener that dreamed of a happy life back in his shire hobbit-hole who instead carried his friend through to the end.

Your father and I had a choice, take advice of experts to end this pregnancy so you would not suffer, or carry on to an early delivery and maybe lose you along the way.  Little Sam, it was you who carried me when the days were longest and I was most afraid.  You are already more amazing a person than half the heroes in the world, and you have yet to see the sunrise for the first time.

If people are cruel to you about your name, do not get angry, feel sorry for them. I could have called you any of those “normal” names like John, Jeffery, or Ted… but that never seemed to be the cause of problems for Gacy, Dahmer, or Bundy when they became cruel men making horrible choices.  People were clueless about their nature and sometimes cruel to them as well, and it while it did make them bitter and bad it had nothing to do with their names.

Let the ignorance of others roll off your back like water on a duck.  Be the kind of man others want to call a friend.  Be a friend to others when they need one most and remind them there is so much good in the world.

Samwise, you are already a more amazing person than any one word could express or encompass.  You are my greatest achievement and I am so proud to be your mother.  You will do great things one day, I have no doubts about that fact.  I know there will be times you feel like giving up, or “hate what we did to you” by giving you this name.  But you are not just a boy with the name of a brave little hobbit who went off to war and came home to be the happiest and most celebrated of his village… you are my son and I love you.

You are also the last child I will ever have, the last baby born to this branch of the house “Martell”.  As another well known writer used that name for a royal family, he also gave them words that are perfect when this letter is not enough.

Unbowed.  Unbent.  Unbroken.

Remember who you are my little love.  I will not promise it will ever be easy, but you are more than up to the task.  As a person who grew up with a name most of her teachers could not pronounce and a nickname that everyone spelled wrong and related to a novel about a prom night gone bad, a name that is different just makes it easier to tell who those around you really are inside.  Even before you take your first gasp of air or cry for your first meal, you have done so much and been so strong.

I love you Samwise,
With all my heart.