Lisa Cochran’s daughter is named Lily but her real name is Elizabeth Lee. As a Catholic, Lisa felt compelled to name her daughter after a saint as this was the good Catholic thing to do. But Lisa also grew up in the South where nicknames usurp given names. Lisa seized this tradition as the opportunity to give her daughter another name: one that conveyed attributes she hoped to cultivate in her daughter. She envisioned a down-to-earth, organic, “get her nails dirty rather than done” kind of girl. The name Lily bubbled up and stuck. Lisa has always loved lily flowers. Their fragrance is sweet but their presence is bold. She considered the Oriental Lily as gorgeous and elegant while the smile of the wild Tiger Lily communicated a strong will and a free-spirit. A perfect name for her daughter.
As Lisa puts it: “I will forever be brought right back to the first day I spent with my daughter every time I smell lilies. That beautiful moment, holding my daughter, overwhelmed with thoughts of moments we would spend together, my hopes and dreams of her becoming a strong, curious and courageous woman. These beautiful memories all ignited by a simple sniff of the flower. I would say that this is the most cherished part of naming my daughter after a flower.”
Every year since Lily’s birth on July 12th, 2000, Lisa cuts the stems of fresh lily flowers and arranges them in a vase before her daughter rises. Lily is now 17 years old.
Lisa asked Lily how she felt about her name as part of this interview. Lisa was certain her daughter would wax-poetic about how perfect a name it is. She’d reflect on how every time she smells a lily it conjures up memories of her father and mother being there for her to celebrate every milestone: those epic eight-hour long dance recitals which cost a small fortune for a piece of hot pink polyester she danced in for four minutes. Lisa was sure Lily would comment about how when times get tough, her “therapy” is a visit to the local florist or a stroll in her garden. That a sniff from a lily makes her feel loved, secure and grateful that she has such thoughtful and loving parents.
Lily’s response to Lisa’s query about her name: "yeah, I like it, it's great. Glad you didn't name me Lucy. I gotta run, I'm going to get my nails done".
Gotta love it.