Written by Sue Harrison

Five-year-old Brock was in a slightly pensive mood as he told his mom, “When I get older, I might change my name .”

Brock had never seemed unhappy with his name, so his mother Lori was a bit surprised. “Change your name?”


“What would you change it to?”


Brock’s answer brought tears to Lori’s eyes. You see, Brock’s special name for his grandfather – Lori’s dad –  is Pa.


I’ve known “Pa” for many years. He and his wife Judy are good friends of ours and also cousins through my husband’s family. So I think I’m safe to say that Brock’s declaration has to be one of the most beautiful compliments Frank – oops, Pa – has ever received. Imagine being so special to your grandson that he wants to change his name to yours.

Imagine being so eloquent – when you’re only five years old – that you can express your love in such a unique way.

Sometimes I’m not very good at telling people how much they mean to me. I’m so busy, so harried, so involved in my own life that I greet friends and family with a distracted smile,  and I don’t even stop to chat. I doubt that any quick smile is as effective as spoken words. Why don’t I say what’s in my heart? “I think you’re fabulous,” or “I wish I could be more like you.” 

A friend of mine, Bill Giovannetti, has written an incredible book entitled, Secrets to a Happy Life. Here’s a quote, “When you live for yourself, life makes no sense. Your own fat face gets in the way of your sense of purpose, your self-worth, and ultimately, your happiness.”

I intend to take Bill’s words to heart and, while I’m at it, to remember what I learned from a very wise five-year-old — who someday just might change his name to Pa.

What about you? Is a name change in your future?

(Photographs used by permission, copyright, 2013, Lori Nixon.)

Sue Harrison

BIO: Novelist Sue Harrison is best known for her Alaska trilogies. Her novels, national and international bestsellers, have been published in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. Her novel Mother Earth Father Sky was named by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults. Sue lives with her husband in Michigan, but has family here in Nebraska and love Nebraska's rich history. She is currently writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. Catch up with Sue on her website and blog – www.sueharrison.com .