Thursday, July 28, 2016


Alicia Robynn 2 days old

Alicia was born 28 years ago, our only girl. She came after three boys, Mario had David and Joe and I had Vince when we married.  Blending our family together was sealed with Alicia’s birth in July of 1988.   

She was born in living color, vibrant from a young age.  Her love of the natural world that either burst with joy and sunshine or raged with discontent.  She jumped into life and devoured it, always drawing a friends to herself.  She was a tomboy who loved to read.  As a result, school and the sports that went with it came naturally. It all went by so fast that I  still wonder where the time with my little daughter went.

I have oodles of pictures of us, in various stages of play and through various ages.  Her smile illuminates the film that captures her.
 She is surrounded by friends, family, love, teams, her array of collections.  They show our girl who rarely settled down for anything!  

Alicia is now a small-business owner and mother of two girls, Harmony and Alannah, that are the joy and fabric of her life.   To see her with them is incredible, the way that she mothers in a no-nonsense style, showing incredible instincts and love for her girls.  I am grateful that I get to help her every Friday.

Malawi 2004
My Fridays are spent driving to Chico, seeing her off, playing with the girls, and celebrating with them, whatever kind of day we decide to make it.  Harmony and Alannah are joy-filled and ready for any adventure that their small town can open up for them.  They remind me so much of their mother at that age that it is frightening.
Chico Downtown Plaza - Last Week

I was raised by a mother who had four daughters, and each of us have the symbiotic relationship with Mom that she had with my Grandma.  Alicia is my only daughter, and we haven’t exactly had the traditional mother-daughter relationship.  There have been misunderstandings, seasons of them.  We always manage to plow through and continue on, probably because both of us have a great deal of determination.

Today, on her birthday, I pray for breakthrough.  I want us to arrive at a place where she understands how much I love her and I understand how much she loves me.  I want the easy connection that she seems to have with her daughters, and that I have with my Mom.  On this day, I want us both to understand that I am me and she is herself and God created us both this way and everything is alright.  This would be the greatest gift I could ever give her.   So today, my prayer is for true communication.

There is a movie called Brainstorm, starring Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood that I thought about today when I thought about Alicia.  In it, a man and wife are going through a painful divorce.  The husband is a scientist who is part of inventing a brain tape-recorder, communication technology that would allow people to feel the same feelings another person  does.  This inventor records his own brainwaves, thinking of his wife, and goes to her.  After giving her the headset, she is able to “feel his heart” for her.  After years of misunderstandings, walls being built, and terrible communication, she sees that her husband genuinely loves her and they reunite.

If only life were that easy.  If only I could make a tape of my brain and hand it to my daughter.  Here I am, here is what I really feel.  Now you can see the depths of my heart -- how much I love you and how genuine my love is. 

Happy Birthday, Alicia.  My words are the closest things to a futuristic brain wave recorder.  I hope that in them you can hear my heart of love for you.  Today I celebrate who you are and all of the many things that are coming alive in your heart.  

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