Years before I became ordained, I performed a naming ceremony for my dear friends from college, Rob & Myra. In the winter of 2001, they were expecting their first child, a girl and her name was to be Shea. (Yes, after the stadium!) This is a good time to mention that Rob is a born and raised New Yorker. He comes from a big-loving- hugging- kissing-feeding everyone type of Italian family in Staten Island. Myra is a tennis playing-beach loving- honor rolling- Orange County girl raised with a traditional Chinese upbringing.
So when Rob grew bored of the Limelight (yes, the club) and the Tunnel (yes, the club, but the commute was no joke either), he decided to go West.
When Myra realized blazing her own trail required distance, she went East.
Our lives crossed perfectly in the middle: Boulder, Colorado. Rob was my photography teacher and mentor. He opened an all ages club that brought the likes of Wu Tang and The Roots to Boulder. Then he introduced me to his amazing girlfriend Myra and it was magical, like meeting a long lost sister.
(Something like that scene in The Color Purple when Whoopi Goldberg reunites with her sister, whose African look is absolutely flawless.)
Fast forward nearly a decade. We are all now living in New York. Rob and Myra are married and expecting. Rob and Myra are natural nurturers. They live to inspire everyone around them. They are the type of couple that find each other early in life because growing and maturing together builds a solid, enduring intuitive bond. It is on such a foundation that special children are born.
Children that will change our world.
On December 19th, coincidentally also my birthday, they gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl and named her Shea Nicole. In lieu of a baptism, Rob and Myra opted for something unique to honor the birth of their child - a naming ceremony. Considering, Shea and I not only share a birthday but also the same middle name (I am forever honored by this) I performed the ceremony. (My life's work was introduced to me by the birth of this child.) By creating their own tradition with a naming ceremony, Rob and Myra also announced to their community and family the type of parents they were to be. We blended some traditions with humor, family memories, humor, and our hopes and wishes for this beautiful soul named Shea.
And on a crisp morning, shortly after her birth, warmed by an abundance of love, food and drink, we welcomed a pure light into our gorgeous and complex world.