This is such a special weekend for our whole family. It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, and the best Mother’s Day gift I could imagine is having our family together to dedicate Aubrey to the Lord at our church. More on that this week, but I’m here this Saturday to tell you one of most special parts of Aubrey. We didn’t find out if this baby was a boy or a girl. If you’ve been reading the blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I really, really was hoping for a girl. The name we chose for a baby girl was the sole reason for my gender preference, because of a beautiful love story and family legacy that would be carried into future generations that may have otherwise been forgotten.
I’ll do my best to type this post out without making it a novel. My grandfather and grandmother were high school sweethearts from Pittsburgh, Kansas. When the draft for World War II was enacted, my grandfather volunteered for the Army, and off he went to begin training to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps. After bootcamp, he came back to his hometown to marry his high school sweetheart, starting an adventure that would literally last a lifetime. The Army Air Corps eventually became the United States Air Force, in which my grandfather would eventually become a decorated pilot. They moved around the world, and my grandfather spent decades flying to places they write about in history books. My grandfather passed away nearly two years ago, and my grandmother less than two years before that. My grandfather spent the last decade of his life caring for my grandmother, who slowly declined and eventually passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease. He stood by her every single day, caring for her to the very limits of his physical ability and so far beyond that emotionally. He loved her with every bit of himself, everyday since the 1930’s. The staff in their home, family, and family friends who know their story all called them “The Notebook couple.” If you want to read more about their love story, my dad wrote out THIS SPEECH at my grandfather’s funeral better than anyone could have told it.
After our own little military love story started over seven decades later, we felt so connected to my grandparents because of it.
I like to think that Aubrey Jean Martin is their love story wrapped up in their (sixth) great granddaughter’s name. When you count lone boy Mitchell, they have a total of seven great grandchild they are loving up on from Heaven above. And maybe they smiled a little bigger when they heard sweet number seven’s name. Some days when I’m daydreaming about who she’ll grow up to be, I think she could be a female fighter pilot. Other days I think she might marry her own military man and build her own beautiful family like her great grandmother. Or maybe she’ll march to the beat of her own drum, but I know her Great Grandfather Aubrey and Great Grandmother Betty Jean will be so proud of her, dancing together again, celebrating up in Heaven.
A memory that will last forever is the look on my dad’s face when he walked into the hospital room and Steve told him Aubrey Jean’s name. How we had been holding that name so close to our hearts the whole pregnancy, waiting for that very moment if our sweet little baby was a girl, and she was and her grandfather was able to be there to meet her and hear it for the first time in person. And how he immediately called my Aunt Susan to share her name, making them the first to know our sweet Aubrey Jean. Tomorrow, we dedicate Aubrey Jean to her Heavenly Father and thank Him for the opportunity to raise this precious little soul, praying for His help to do it His way. And we celebrate little Aubrey Jean, knowing that her sweet name representing a great Godly love that came before her makes her a little extra special. We love you more than you’ll ever know, sweet girl.