Christmas with my daughter, Erin, is an annual event. One in which I drive from Santa Barbara, down the coast to Beverly Hills -- the area where we lived, loved and spent our days for almost 20 years. Usually we dine out on Christmas Eve, and afterwards, coast the elegant streets of the city, viewing the Christmas lights at night.
Here, our history is rich.
And when I return, it's as though the sidewalks welcome me back. The years of traveling down Wilshire and Little Santa Monica Boulevards, going on interviews on the Sunset Strip, and performing modeling and acting jobs. Even the shopping excursions to keep my wardrobe up to snuff were memorable. In that world, part of my personal job description was to always keep searching for that eye-popping outfit: something unique to wow on and interview, and hopefully, make them remember my name.
Shopping at Georgio's on Rodeo Drive, for an ensemble to wear to the Oscars, is an episode that stands out in my mind. And today, driving down Brighton Way, the memories encircling me like whirling leaves, I could almost hear Al Green crooning in the background and catch the drift of Chanel #5.
Erin was such an integral part of those days: days when I strove and raced and never seemed to stop. And now with so many of those days behind me -- some that live on video and film -- I see how the past still shines. But also, I notice the way it pales beside the light of my dear daughter's eyes.