I asked Husband what he thought about naming his son Edward Columbus. Edward after your father and Columbus after your uncle who died fighting for our country. Two great men who did amazing things with their life. One returned home to start a family; the other- without whom your parents would not have dated. While the life of Columbus was cut short, he left a legacy that we see today in this house.
Husband said no.
I always knew the name he wanted, but wanted to investigate all options before committing.
I asked Husband about Henry Thomas- part of your namesake. Henry has a lot of fight in him and the name goes back five generations your family. Henry Thomas was a faithful man of God, devoted father, and astute businessman- all qualities we hope for in our son.
Husband said no.
Stretching to the other side, I asked about Lynwood Raiford- Lynwood after your father-in-law and Raiford after his father. Another fine example of two great men. Men who helped build Colquitt county in both the physical sense- brick by brick and judicial sense- creating and enforcing laws behind the walls of the courthouse still standing in the square.
William Thomas, I am here to tell you that there was only one name my husband found acceptable for his son. You are not unique in naming your son after your father. Going back more than a century, sons of your family have been named for their father’s father.
All of these men started out as mere children and became something extraordinary. These children were but sons and babes held in their mother’s arms, swaddled in love. But all these men have something in common- they laid the foundation and are setting the course for our son- our William Thomas.
William Thomas did amazing things, too. He traveled halfway around the world thinking that’s where love would be. Only when he finally returned home and to his roots did he discover it was there all along. William Thomas worked to support his parents, took pieces of families and made them whole again before branching out to start success after success with nothing more than his two hands and God given talents. Nothing was easy. Nothing was handed to him- except his name.
William Thomas, I promise you that you will not be the last William Thomas. There is another one coming.
And he has a lot to live up to. Let’s teach him well and teach him with love.
I give you the name of my first son.