Friday, July 15, 2011

What's In a Name?

I've always wondered how I got my name. My parents didn't name me after anyone in particular, so how did they come up with Jessica Lea? Since I haven't really gotten a straight answer out of either parent, I'm working on just making up a good story about it. You know, to fill in the gaps. (Hey, Blanche Dubois lived her life telling what "ought to be the truth." That motto's good in theory, I guess.)

Anyway, I figure if Jude is anything like me, he'll wonder about EVERYTHING, and that includes the story of how Jeffrey and I came to name him.

So why did we choose Jude?
Answer: "Because 'Stairway to Heaven' would be a stupid name for a baby!" --spoken by the ever so wise Jeffrey Brown, Jr. Yeah. I married that.

Ok, here's the real story behind Jude's whole name.

Vincent was an easy decision for Jeffrey and for me as well. Vincent was Jeffrey's Papaw's name. Unfortunately, he passed away before I ever knew Jeffrey, but from all accounts I've heard, he was a great man. No surprise there since Jeffrey comes from a pretty great family who has treated me as one of their own since the day I met everyone. Since I love Jeffrey's family, I'm pretty sure I would have loved him too.

So what does my side of the family think about the name Vincent? Well, they all love the name too! Sure they think it's a sweet tribute to someone Jeffrey loved so much, but their enthusiasm stems from elsewhere. See, we have a deep love for all teams Wisconsin. Go up North and cut open any of their veins, and I swear they will bleed green and gold. Half my roots lie in that northern soil, so how appropriate that I would name my kid after the greatest man (or should I say god? Could go either way with that bunch) to come out of that state--Vince Lombardi!

We definitely couldn't go wrong with Vincent.

Then there's the other part of his name and what we choose to call him day to day--Jude. Since announcing Jude's name at 19 weeks pregnant, we have heard more Beatles "Hey Jude" references then I care to stomach. However, both of us really do like that song, and I have always liked the simplistic-no-fuss-monosyllabic names for boys. The other reason we chose Jude comes from a place a bit more personal (and a bit more Catholic). St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes. I'm sure it seems weird to many that I would name a child after someone whose name is associated with something so negative, but for me and Jeffrey, no name proves more appropriate. Before Jude existed, Jeffrey and I experienced a tragedy that really threw us for a loop, and maybe we ended up being better stronger people because of it. What I do know is that I look at my sweet baby every day and am reminded of how far we've come since then. I've never been one to focus on the past--always the future (and I have planned a whole post dedicated to this school of thought). However, our tragedy is something I never want to forget. For me, Jude represents what was lost and what is gained, and I guess that's what makes life so beautiful.

So Vincent Jude--such a big name for such a little guy! Of course, we wouldn't tell this whole story to just anyone because there are some emotional parts behind it, and who would want to witness a snot slinging in the midst of casual conversation? To just any ol' soul who asks about the name Jude, we just tell them we've named him after the heavy metal band, Judas Priest. And since mine and Jeffrey's weirdness is really easy to pick up on, they all buy it!


mudgiesmom said...

You know, you never told me why you picked Jude, but I didn't have to ask. I knew that you named him for the saint; it just seemed to be a given to me. And in my (humble) opinion, I think it is not a negative--even though "the patron saint of hopeless causes" may initially seem like a bit of a downer. After all, if you believe strongly enough to put faith in a hopeless cause, does that not make it that much less hopeless?
Jude is a perfect name!

Sarah said...

It's not depressing. We pray to St. Jude because we still have hope, not because we have lost hope.