Dear darling Brad,
Happy 30th Birthday!
I'm sorry to admit that over the years many memories fade; but, I vividly remember the day you were born! We were living in the apartments at the top of the hill on Center Street. I was sick. I must have had a cold as I had a severe earache that kept me up all night in tears while Dad and Scotty slept. I even remember the homemade ankle length pioneer/hippie type dress I made that I was wearing; doesn't that paint a pretty picture? I wasn't familiar with taking medications, and I was scared to take anything for the sake of your precious little body "we" were building. I finally decided it was time to wake Dad up about 5 am. We bundled up Scotty and drove over to Grandpa and Grandma Opie's house. I started to think that maybe I had waited a bit too long so they were waiting out in the carport. I can still see them standing with a blanket covered sleeping little boy waving goodbye as we backed down the hill.
The hospital was a bit panicked when they checked my progress and speedily conveyed me to the delivery room. Dr. Leavitt hustled to the hospital and prompted me to hurry along so that he might get to Priesthood meeting, which used to be held at 7:30 am! I'm happy to report that I was an obedient patient and you were born at 6:39 am.
As you know, we filled out your birth certificate with the name Christian; but later made the decision to call you Bradley. You've probably heard us blame Grandma Opie for the change. But in reality, I honestly dont think she heard us clearly and just wanted clarification. And I think Bradley was just the perfect name for you! And the fact that everyone thought you looked like Grandpa Stoddard made your middle name the perfect fit.
You were such a good baby (anyway that's the way I remember it thirty years later!) I always believed that God knew we were sad that we had lost a baby, and sent a happy, sweet, loving baby boy to bring us joy and touch the hearts of everyone in the family. One day I was sorting through family pictures and I remember noticing how happy and joyful you looked in every one of them. Often you were reaching out to lovingly touch someone else in the picture. And that's how you've spent your life, lovingly reaching out and touching the lives of those around you.
I love you. Thank you for being you, and for being the good, faithful priesthood holder, husband, father, brother, and son that you are. I have faith and confidence in you. I know Heavenly Father has something special planned for you, as he does for us all, and I'm grateful to know that you are willing to place your life in his hands.
Happy 30th Birthday! Isn't it exciting to wonder what the next 30 years will bring!?
Your loving mother