This is my favorite photograph of my mother. You can see her grace and extraordinary beauty. Physically and spiritually. Powerful and radiant. So utterly relaxed. A word I would think to describe my mother is exquisite. Maybe another one would be delicious, for she enjoyed savoring all life had to offer. The joy and even the pain. She grew from all of it. Thus had so much more to give. That she did. Every second of her life. So when my mother passed away a week ago today, I planted a garden for her. In actuality, as I planted her last rose, she passed. For me, her garden is a celebration of all that she is. Each day, each evening, I hear her in my soul and I feel her vibrancy. She fills with me joy and laughter. She is my true companion and will always be. As she has always been to all of us who have had the privilege of knowing her. Alicia is such a gorgeous name in its simplicity. I am honored that she bestowed her name along with my grandmother, my father’s mother, Ana. When she created the name as Ana Alicia, and people would refer to me as Ana, she would say, “There is no Ana here. Only an Ana Alicia.” She would always stand up for the gorgeous name she created for the seemingly gorgeous daughter, one of her four gorgeous children in her mind. As are her many many grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are all perfect in her eyes. When you’re one of Alicia’s offspring, you have such power in knowing that this extremely extraordinary human being thinks your quite extraordinary. My mother gave all who came in contact with her, a sense of being loved and a sense of one’s specialness. When you are accepted and loved unconditionally, there is nothing greater. Although most of you never knew my mother, in sharing this about her, I hope it will give you some understanding of how uniquely special she would know each one of you are. You’re perfect just as you are. Thank you mama.