11020778_10204286518950413_6482268514885027570_nI knew my daughter years before she was conceived.

When my wife and I were newly-weds, and before we even tried to have children, I had a vision in which I saw my daughter’s entire life.

In my vision I saw a little girl from the moment of her conception, in my arms, and go through every stage of development into adulthood. I saw her reach womanhood. I saw her reach her middle ages… Throughout all these stages, the following words boomed with an echo in my chest:

She makes me feel so happy!

I also saw myself getting old, defeating the curse of the Rivera men, who in my lineage always die before reaching 65 years of age.

I distinctly remember the emotions I felt during my vision. I was in a state of almost blissful contentment. I felt fulfilled…accomplished. She was my treasure…my reward from God in this world. On this side of glory…the crown of my glory. The pearl on my ring…the smile on my face. My sweet daughter…….my pleasure.Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.15.28 PM

Liz and I had twin boys… and almost 3 years after we conceived Marisa. When Liz returned from the gynecologist, she was bewildered…”Your vision…it’s true…we are having a girl!”

Liz proposed that I choose our little girl’s name… So, I named her: Marisa Noemi.

Marisa is a derivative of the name, Mary, which comes from the Latin: “Mares,” or “Sea.” Her middle name, “Noemi,” comes from the Hebrew which means: “My Pleasure.” The two names together “Marisa Noemi,” is a reminder to her, that she has been my sweetest pleasure since the ocean of eternity.

She has just graduated from High School… She makes me feel so happy!

The following was a poem I wrote for her when she graduated from 8th grade. Once again, like a wave in an ocean of love…

2014-04-26 13.54.59Marisa’s graduation- a dream come true!

Hair and nails, dress and lipstick-
Stockings, heals, and all so rhythmic.
The day has come- finally here!
Marisa’s graduation- It’s time for cheers!

You, the star of graduation-
Awards galore- the schools’ sensation!
Shining… center of admiration-
Presidential Award! Front page section!

Baby Marisa asleep on my chest-
Games of “tickle bug” before your rest.
I used to observe you when you slept,
And thank God for you- I AM SO BLEST!

Beach, Church, Chicken Bone, Gum…
David and Daniel- All boys are so dumb!
Singing, dancing, acting, playing-
Eating Watermelon… did you leave me some?Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.14.58 PM

I know you’ll be all I could not…
The looks, the gifts, the smile, the smarts-
  One in a million, wonderful girl!
Worth more to me than the whole world!

Marisa’s graduation- a dream come true!