As you lay on the operating table, I hope you feel our love surrounding you. So many people are praying for you today and are with us. While most other babies your age have reached milestones like sitting up, rolling over and attempts at crawling, you have reached a milestone of your own- the end of Interstage and beginning of the next level of your repair. While you fight back from bypass, I want you to know a little about whom you are named for.
My grandfather’s name was Israel. Everyone called him ‘Harry’, I called him Gramps. He was a quiet man who loved his family and his profession; dentistry. I loved him dearly, he meant the world to me. He taught me a great deal about life and our family’s heritage. I never got tired of listening to his stories of what it was like when he was a little boy, his life after he lost his father at 13, and his life at Bates. I especially enjoyed hearing his stories about my grandmother Adeline, whom your sister is named for. He called her his bride, and when I would visit them in the afternoons, the two of them would be found in the den holding hands.
Gramps was a quarterback and played football for Bates. Out of everything he had accomplished in his life, I think that was one of his favorites. The odds were against him being successful. He was small, almost tiny in comparison to other football players on his team. He was scrappy and fought his way to becoming an integral part of the team.
He had sparkling blue eyes that would twinkle when he was happy. He could fix anything. He had an incredible golf swing. Couldn’t hold a tune but could grill a steak like no other. He was a constant source of love and comfort for me throughout my life until he passed away in 2009.
When we found out you were coming and that the odds were against you, I was at a loss for a name. We chose Isabelle at first because of the family tradition to name after a loved one at first. As it became more apparent that you were a fighter, pushing up against the technician trying to get an echo, I knew there wasn’t any other name we could give you.
Israel, in hebrew, is translated to mean ‘wrestled with God’. I know you are having your own wrestling match right now. I know you will come out on top.