Namesake

It wasn’t easy choosing Sophia’s name, but we couldn’t be happier with how it seems to suit her. The nickname Lester was fun while it lasted, but since birth we’ve moved on to more fitting nicknames like Sweet Sophia or Squirmin’ Merman (when we change her she squirms like crazy and sings like Ethel Merman). By the time of the official baby naming I’m sure we’ll have an even longer list of nicknames to share with you. In the meantime, I want to explain a little bit about where Sophia’s name came from and why it is very special.

It is common in the Jewish faith to name babies in memory of a family member that is deceased. Sophia is named after my mother who died from a brain tumor when I was only 9 years old. My mother’s name was Sandra Terry Rick (her hebrew name was Sarah Tovah) but she went by Terry. So in her memory, we’ve named our daughter Sophia Teri Rick Yudell (hebrew name is Sarah Tovah as well). Since my mother didn’t have a connection to the name Sandra, we selected a different “S” name that we thought was prettier and more fitting. Sophia means wisdom in Latin and therefore is an even greater tribute to my mother.



My mother was a woman who believed in bettering her community and herself through education, activism and compassion. She was intellectual, strong and incredibly devoted to progressive causes, feminist issues in particular. My mother’s most favorite cause, however, was her role as a mother to a little girl. She gave her all to this job and always provided me with boundless love, tenderness, strength and respect. In a short time she raised me to be the best person that I can be—someone who gives more than she takes and appreciates the value in wisdom.



Pretty much every day since September 1985, I have looked forward to one day having a daughter of my own to carry my mother’s name and live by these same values. Sometimes when I watch Sophia sleeping in my arms, I think about how 30 years ago my mother felt the same love, responsibility and wonderment when she gazed on her newborn.





Last year Michael, my parents and I established a scholarship in memory of my mother at Sharon High School (in my hometown). The scholarship is given to a graduating senior who has exhibited both academic excellence, and, most importantly, an engagement in and commitment to social and community issues. If any of you out there are thinking about a baby gift for Sophia, please consider donating to the Terry Rick Memorial Scholarship. We believe that this is a special way to honor our little girl and her extraordinary namesake.

11 thoughts on “Namesake”

  1. Hi to your whole family,Sophia is beautiful!Hope you are all getting plenty of sleep. It was great to see the pictures with your Mom.Enjoy every moment with Sophia even when she is 3yrs old and says “mommy is stupid” for the first time as John did today!Love to you allAmy,Stan,Nikki,and John

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  2. I hear Sophia is quite a beauty! The pictures of you and your mom are wonderful and I am so happy for you that you finally have a little girl to name after your very special mother. Glad to hear you are doing well and look forward to catching up, love you,Brooke

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  3. hello daughter in law. what a touching and beautiful tribute to your mom. the bond and love between you and your mom was special. you are lucky to have had her although for too short a time. jacq, your relationship and love for Sophia is just beginning. your mom instilled in you, love and devotion to family, a love for learning and a respect for those around you. your inner strength is boundless. i truly love you and look forward to watching you grow into the mother we know you will be. your devotion to michael is this mother’s dream. how lucky we are to have you.

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  4. There is a book called ” My Mother Myself”, you Jacqui will be yourself and will always have your Mother sitting on your shoulder whispering her love and guidance to you.Your memory was a beautiful reminder of how we are all rooted in our past.

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  5. There is a book called ” My Mother Myself”, you Jacqui will be yourself and will always have your Mother sitting on your shoulder whispering her love and guidance to you.Your memory was a beautiful reminder of how we are all rooted in our past.

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  6. Dearest Jacqui:You are everything your mother and I hoped for in a daughter. Her boundless love will always be with you and her memory will live on in precious Sophia.All my love,Dad (PAPAZ)

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  7. Jacqui, As I sit here crying after reading your recent addition to the blog, I can only imagine how your mother is looking down on you, Mike, and sophia at this time. She would be so proud of all your accomplishements. I am so glad that you guys had a little girl to help your mother’s memory live on.

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  8. Hi Jacqui and Michael,I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am about the birth of Sophia and the great news about Michael. I’ve just read about your mother, Jacqui, and I’m not surprised how wonderful a prson she was and all she instilled in you, and how much you look like her!! How lucky is baby Sophia to have such a loving family!! I’m so happy for you. Can’t wait to meet your bundle of joy!! Ivy says she is just beautiful!! Love,as Maya calls me, “Mommom Brina”

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  9. What a beautiful tribute (i dont know a better name off hand). How amazing. The feeling must be unimaginable. I’m all teary and I haven’t even seen the photos!. Congrats again! Can’t wait to see you guys!

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  10. What a beautiful tribute (i dont know a better name off hand). How amazing. The feeling must be unimaginable. I’m all teary and I haven’t even seen the photos!. Congrats again! Can’t wait to see you guys!

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  11. Hi to all,I LOVE the pictures of Jacqui’s mom and of course all of you. I am so happy for you that beautiful Sophia has come into your lives!!I hope you will let me know when the naming is. I want to see my little niece and her wonderful parents!Love you,”Auntie Beth”

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