I’m proud and thankful that Alicia Rose Miller is my daughter.
To be honest, Alicia was a “surprise,” but she was certainly a welcome surprise over 12 years ago. She has been an absolute gift in our lives.
I know what people mean when they talk about the special relationship between a father and his daughter. It’s not that boys mean any less to a father, it’s just that the father-daughter relationship is extra … unique. I could tell it would be that way the first time I held her in my arms on the morning she was born in February of 1999.
Alicia has always made friends very quickly. We used to take her to play in a city park, with total strangers surrounding her, and make guesses on how long it would take for her to make a new friend. It never seemed to take her long at all. She is as loyal as they come when you talk about friendships in her life.
Alicia has her mother’s beauty; her gift of music through her lovely, high singing voice and her piano playing (Alicia has even written songs on her own that have made me take notice). She has her brother Grant’s wonderful sense of fun and humor. She has her brother Curtis’ wisdom. I’ve had one-on-one conversations with her over problems that she’s run into in her life and — after giving her some of my own advice — let her give her own thoughts on solutions to sticky situations. I’ve ended up being amazed at how wise she can be.
She is one of her daddy’s best helpers, and her mom’s, of course. She works hard when asked to do so.
But some of the things that I’m most proud of when it comes to Alicia are her caring, her compassion, her sensitivity to the needs of others who are desperately in need of all those things. Whether it’s an animal or a human, she shows wonderful, Christ-like compassion.
As a case in point, our church has an Inner-City Outreach (ICOR) ministry that goes out during the coldest winter months every year to give out warm clothing, blankets, backpacks, food, and a hot drink to the homeless in Pioneer Park, in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. I’ve gone out for several years now to help in any way I can with that ministry, whether it’s handing out items or trying to “keep the peace” or taking photographs or shooting videos. It’s not a ministry for the light-hearted. It takes a special strength at times to see the families with newborns and infants that you come across in this ministry, and we see it more all the time in today’s world. But I’ll get into that more later this week.
Several years ago, Alicia said she wanted to help with ICOR herself. When she started going out to do her part in the ministry, she found a special role for herself. She was ICOR’s designated hugger. There’s a photo here to prove it. Yes, that’s her in the purple coat and the pink snow boots, hugging a man who was wanting one while people waited in line behind them for much-needed warm clothing. Alicia has always been careful to give out those hugs only to those who were willing to give and get one. She has given a special kind of Christian warmth to those who’ve asked for it in their most desperate times. That’s the thing I’m most thankful and proud of when it comes to my daughter. She sets a wonderful Christian example that many people much older than her could learn from.
Alicia is a girl who captured her father’s heart over 12 years ago. And the more she grows, the stronger that grip on my heart becomes. Just like it does with her brothers.
I have some pretty special children who mean the world to me. I give thanks for them every day.