My daughter, Anne, is 27 today. She is beautiful inside and out, talented, kind and very loving. Thinking about her makes me smile.
When Anne was very young, she received a Fisher Price video game as a gift. I remember nothing about that game except the words that flashed on the screen before the game began. They read, “Anne, Do Your Best”. Well Anne has been “doing her best” ever since. And her best is really, really something.
Anne was headstrong as a toddler. She knew her mind and was not easily coerced or distracted. While other little ones could be pacified with crayons or snacks, she would have none of it, loudly making her displeasure known. While I wouldn’t have minded a little less drama (as a first-time mother I got pretty rattled!), I sensed that my hyper-intelligent and spirited daughter would one day bring her unique perspective and original voice to the world. And she certainly has.
Anne has so many gifts, and she chose to pursue a career in opera. While her voice is truly something special, and listening to her has brought me many hours of pleasure and pride, I am most impressed by the way she has conducted herself in this ultra competitive, “no guarantees” world. She has lived every experience, from a challenging and often lonely year on a grant in Paris to initiation by fire in her first young artists’ program to the ever-present chorus of “no thank you” with grit and grace. She has demonstrated great resilience and courage. At the same time, Anne has always wished the best for her friends and generously celebrated their successes with them. I am continually inspired by her.
Happily, all of Anne’s hard work is starting to pay off and she will be appearing this winter in a lead role in The Lyric Opera Unlimited production of “The Property”. This is a brand new opera, and you can read more about it here. This is so exciting for Anne, and I’m looking forward to taking my front row seat. I know she will shine.
Thank you Anne, for being such a bright light and bringing such joy to my life. I wish you a wonderful birthday and a year filled with love, success, joy and peace.
(Oh, and I hope you don’t mind that I swiped one of your lovely head shots for this post. My photos all pale in comparison)