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Re: “What's in a Name?

My name is Nicole Johnson and I am writing to provide you with what may be a rare opportunity to learn how your writing affects others. I am Mandi Coleman’s cousin.

Your family must be very proud of you. You seem to be a very accomplished woman and have even recently added several books to your lengthy list of articles and short stories. I dream that my own children can experience the same type of success and hopefully, satisfaction from the career paths they choose. However, I do understand that eventually one day my children will have to make decisions for themselves. Not only the decision about what college to go to or what job to take or what religion to follow, but the decision to do right or wrong. This is why I make sure that in these early years they are surrounded by love deep rooted in family, spirituality and honor.

Anyone who knows our family knows that we love one another real hard. Ask any of the myriads of extended family members who show up at our door holiday after holiday in search of the love they can’t find in their own families. This is alright with us, we have enough love to share and we understand. It is also why when one of our children has decided to do wrong, we know that we need to stick together more than ever. I will be praying with them for Mandi, not only because I love Mandi, but because I know that one day I’m going to need Mandi’s mother to pray with me about my own children. This is what we do. We battle the hurtful things that people say or do to our family in the spiritual relm. When our young ones end up in diverse troubles we keep praying. This method has proven most effective for us not only because we believe in God, but because it helps soothe the pain inflicted during difficult times.

All of your biographies say you are a UC Berkeley Graduate. Undoubtedly, the reputation of this school emphasizes the fact that you have a passion for your craft. Why else would you have endured such a grueling program? It was probably also because you wanted to set a good example for your own children or future children. This is why I was able to complete the engineering program at Berkeley myself. To leave a legacy for future generations is of utmost importance. This is why Mandi’s great-grandfather endured some of the most difficult labor in country. Because he understood the power of legacy, he worked long and hard enough so that his job position would be legally promised to our family forever. It is Mandi’s turn next to continue this legacy. We have faith that he will eventually be able to make the right choices and be mature and responsible enough to claim his birth right.

Anneli, this is what’s in a name. Not such bad news, huh? So, I would like to respectfully ask you to search elsewhere for your sources of scandal, mayhem, and celluloid

“…you need to know what something looks like before you can completely understand it.”

Posted by Nicole Johnson on 01/18/2008 at 2:11 PM

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