“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
The Lord gave the World the sweet gift of Amelia Hope Wright on the late evening of November 19th 2002. After her arrival, a bath, some swaddling and getting much love on that first day of her life we remembered that we were still undecided on a name for this little treasure. We had gone over many names, some were sweet, others honoring; but for some unknown reason these names were not meant for this child. When the time came the next day to be discharged, the hospital required a name for her birth certificate. We were hard pressed. Christian took a walk to the cafeteria and on his way back to the room the Lord whispered “Amelia” to him. Amelia! He returned to the room and said to Jennifer, “what about Amelia”? Tearing up she said she LOVED it!... Amelia.
Over the course of nearly 13 years, our little one picked up many other names of endearment including: Milly, Milly-Girl, Mills, Mills-Bills, Milly-Bunz, Lu, Boo Boo, and Boo Bear. We also called her Princess, Beautiful, Blondie, and more recently “Tween-Scene”. But the name Amelia was from the Lord and means ‘flatterer, beloved, industrious and trustworthy’ and if you knew Amelia you knew God’s name for this little girl was perfectly fitting.
Amelia means “Flatterer” which is to try to please by complimentary remarks or attention. As many of us here know, Amelia was sweet natured and wanted to please and nurture others around her. She loved her family, her friends, animals of nearly any kind, and of course babies and small kids. She loved to babysit and volunteer for “Walkers 1” on Sunday mornings here at Bridgeway. Although severely allergic, she would always want to pet, hug and snuggle any nearby kitty or doggie.
Amelia was created sweet but also balanced with some spice and we had our times of correcting her strong will as she grew. We learned that the spankings that were so effective with Adam seemed to have little or no affect on this sweet little girl and that she was never one for backing down if she felt she was right and you were wrong. We believe one of her first full sentences was, “My word for you is NO.” Over time, however, we also learned that along with this strong will was the flatterer and she would not allow anything to come between us. With a little time to cool off; she would always come back to sincerely apologize, provide complementary remarks and make amends.
Amelia means “Beloved” which is someone dearly loved, greatly loved, dear to the heart. And she was. When we found out we were going to have a baby girl, Jenn’s first reaction was a slight panic. She knew how to be a mom of a boy, but a girl? She felt like she didn’t know how to do girl hair…how to dress them…how to handle all the shoe options! But that girl arrived and we knew right away it was meant to be…this precious girl grabbed hold of our hearts and she was beloved. Fiercely beloved. We remember Grandpa Jerry holding her for the first time and saying, “she is mine.”
Amelia captured the hearts of all she came in contact with. She had the uncanny ability to see into the hearts of people, to see their needs and reach out. She was drawn to the kids on the fringe, the ones who seemed alone and needed a friend. She was a beloved friend to many and cared deeply for them all. As much as we disliked Instagram, this tool has allowed us to see how much she was beloved by the many friends who have commented about her and posted sweet memories of our Amelia. She was blessed with amazing friends…which had been our prayer as her parents since she was an infant. God is good.
She is beloved by her family…the sole girl amongst all the boys in our immediate family…she could certainly hold her own! She involved herself in all their games and conversations…however always made it very clear to her boy cousins when she needed some “girl time” which usually involved locking herself in a closet or going on a walk with mom. The painful job of pouring through hundreds of pictures for her slide show has reminded us of how much she is cherished by her family. She loved to spend time, equally, with her “City Grandparents” Nana and Papa, and her “Country Grandparents” Grammy and Grampa. She had many special “girls only” moments with her aunties which she cherished. She loved them dearly…she was loved dearly…she is beloved.
Amelia means “Industrious” which is devoted, hard working and diligent. Our Amelia was the true definition of industrious. She was devoted to her faith, her family, and her friends and sometimes – as we all do - she struggled to balance them since each one was so important to her. She was also devoted to cherished family traditions, her teachers (she was truly blessed to have so many good ones) and causes that she saw as just, such as helping and caring for animals, watching over small children and even recycling.
Amelia was also an unusually hard worker when her mind was fixed on something that was important to her and she was brilliant at finding solutions to any obstacle that lay in her path. Once when she was around two, she found herself separated from her beloved “Binky” that was precariously perched on a shelf in her room. Stacking various books and toys on top of a chair she reached that binky just as mommy walked in to witness the feat. In her mind there was no need to call anyone for help. Why would there be? She could get the job done by herself. She was able to quickly learn and navigate mp3 players at 4 years old and was always the resident iPhone expert of our house. Over the last year, with our blessing, Amelia started her own You Tube channel. She creatively and diligently came up with topics, shot and edited the video, and uploaded it to her site. This sounds easy enough but she was working with a very old and slow computer and editing software that was from the 1990s. Through blood, sweat and many tears she did not back down. Working hours trying to figure out how to do this when most of us would have simply given up, she persevered, overcame and willed it to work. She became a self taught social media expert on both You Tube and Instagram and quickly generated hundreds of followers.
Like her Great Gramp and Gram Wright, Papa and Dad before her, she was gifted at sales. If there was something motivating her we could count on well thought out arguments to support her beliefs. When she wanted a kitten or a hamster, she would research the different types, how best to care for them, how much it would cost to purchase them, their housing needs and an ongoing budget for food. This was all then neatly placed onto a board for a presentation to Mom and Dad. She loved setting up and running lemonade stands in our court, marketing herself in the neighborhood for babysitting services, and garage sales where she would have all of her items neatly arranged ready for sale.
There are countless stories that would remind us that our Amelia was our industrious one.
Amelia means “Trustworthy” which is reliable, dependable, honest, honorable, and true. This part of her name brings to mind the many Sunday mornings we had to get to church early because she had to be at Kidsway to serve. She would say, “Those kids need me there, I told them I would see them next week.” She took this job very seriously and it brought great joy to her heart to be with these little ones. She was dependable.
She was very honest…sometimes brutally. She was quick to tell you, always gently however, if something you wore was not right or if your hair looked a bit off. She had a hard time not confessing when she had done wrong. One of the sweetest videos we have of her captures this at about age 4. She had the camera and was walking down the driveway randomly filming things. She paused and said “what the?” which we had told her didn’t sound right coming from a young child. Her next words were, “Oh no I just said “What the” and it’s on the TV…I need to go tell mommy!” She continued to film as she came into the kitchen and confessed to mommy as she was standing at the stove. “Mommy I just said “What the” on the TV!” Mommy gently said that is ok and thanked her for telling her. This honesty continued into her later years as she would begrudgingly confess things she had done or said that weren’t kind. We always told her this is a good quality and it means the Holy Spirit is at work in her. She was also very honest with her love. She never hesitated to tell us she loved us.
Now you know the story of her name, the meaning of her name, and hopefully her character and heart. This precious gift that the Lord gave to us, He has now taken away. Too soon…not fair…why? These are all things we wrestle with, as I am sure many here do also. As we sit on this bench of suffering we must remember that we do not sit alone. We sit with a God who is well acquainted with suffering. A God who had to watch His one and only beloved son nailed to a cross to bear the sins of the world…to bear our sin…your sin. Because of this we have the Hope of Heaven…we know we will one day see our Amelia. We know she is in a place that God has prepared for her…we know she is safe…loved…and we are certain she can be a mermaid whenever she chooses. However, we also know that if Amelia was given the choice, she would choose to stay there by her Savior’s side. We who are left here on earth must also make a choice. What do we do with this great loss and grief…how do we respond? We can choose bitterness, anger, avoidance, denial, addictions to drown the pain. Or we can choose to enter into the darkness and suffering, trusting that God also suffers with us…He is here on this bench with us…and He is our ONLY great and true comforter and Peace that surpasses all other.
Please consider Amelia’s name…Flatterer, Beloved, Industrious, and Trustworthy. We must choose to live our life to honor her name…and we must choose to glorify the name of our Lord who gave us this precious gift. May the name of the Lord be praised!