A Beautiful Name

Uncle Tony, Emma and Me at Her Graduation Dinner

Uncle Tony, Emma and Me at Graduation

Maya Angelou is a beautiful, poetic name. Ms. Angelou honored it with her generous spirit and eloquence. She comforted and inspired me many times. I will miss her because she meant love.

My daughter Emma Antonia Goldman just graduated from high school. I think Emma and Antonia are the perfect combination. All together, her name has many meanings: Emma for independence and strength from the anarchist Emma Goldman; Antonia for courage and tenacity from the character Antonia in the novel My Antonia, and from my uncle and grandfather, both Anthony.

Like Maya Angelou, Emma embodies her name. She is tenacious and she is brave, quietly taking risks and never giving up. Like the character Antonia, her work ethic is inspiring. She is also an artist with her voice and with her hands. She needs a name for that. I think it will be amazing, the Amazing Emma Antonia Goldman.

Emma is heading to college soon. I will try to be as brave as she is. We will miss her so much because she means love and kindness in our home. In the meantime we will all have dinner at home together, and I will cherish these moments the way I did when I held her newborn.