Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A nice story about a fine young man

I work with a young guy who actually just turned 25 yesterday. I knew he was a good kid with a kind heart, but something he told me about last week convinces me of that.

Brent has legally changed his last name to his mother's maiden name. His dad abandoned Brent when he was just a little guy, and has not been a part of his life since, so he and his brother were raised by their mom. His grandmother has been a big influence in his life, too.

Brent says he's been thinking of this name change for a long time, and that his father's last name has no real meaning or significance to him. So he did it, and presented his new birth certificate to his grandmother as a gift for her 84th birthday. His mom and her aunt were there, too.

Brent says his grandmother has never been much of an outwardly emotional person, but the smile she displayed at her birthday gift spoke volumes. And then later, when no one else was around, she turned to him and said "Your grandfather would be very proud of what you've done." Brent didn't know his grandfather, either -- he died either before Brent was born, or when he was very young (I can't remember which, although he did tell me). Brent says that he knows that his grandmother was also telling him in her own way, how proud she is, too, and how much the gesture means to her.

I am so impressed with this young man. That is a big thing to do. Your name is such a part of you and your identity, and to change it for any reason is huge.

Brent often calls me Papa Bob, saying I'm kind of like a surrogate dad to him. That's quite alright to me. And being a very outwardly emotional person, I couldn't help but hug him, to show him how proud I am of the gesture that honours his grandmother.


Maria said...

You are so good!! So, so Good!
If my dad was not such an amazing person himself (mainly for living with my mother for the last 50+ years) I would want you to be my papa also!!

A. & J. said...

what a nice story. It was really nice to read this. :)