MY BABY GIRL…

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On this, the sixty-second anniversary of the very first time I held my daughter, I’d like to share the remarks I made at her commencement celebration;

“Consciousness is the only reality.
God is all there is and God is good all the time.
Life is good because God is good. In fact, it’s all good!
Keep breathing, forgive, and love everybody and everything all the time!
This is what I teach in my ministry and how I endeavor to live my life…
and somebody has been watching me!

Karen is an organizing principle in my life and has been for almost six decades. Like the moon tugs on the tides, like flowers turn to face the sun, like clouds scud across the sky before a storm blows in, she is a force to be reckoned with! Children will do that.

I remember when she asked me to sit with her once a week for months discussing A Course In Miracles. Then we started on the Science of Mind and she began taking classes.
I remember when her mother Norma and I walked her down the aisle of my church in Carson City to be married in a ceremony officiated by my wife Gail.
I remember when she called one Thanksgiving morning to ask for help and I picked her up and took her where she needed to go.
I remember when we sat in the bleachers while she graduated from San Francisco State, a little speck in cap and gown about half a mile away.
I remember when she put a rude bumper sticker on her car, which I removed, only to discover she’d bought an endless supply of the stupid things and she’d replace it every time I tore one off.
I remember when she hid a boy in her closet – for a week!
I remember when I got my brand new, 1952, British racing green, hard topped, Jaguar XK120 coupe, with real leather seats, and she threw up all over them!
I remember the first time I ever held her in my arms, so tiny, so beautiful, so amazing, so terrifying…

Kids think parents are all powerful. Sometimes we parents do too, but it’s only a temporary comforting delusion we employ to mask the absolute reality of our powerlessness over our children’s lives. Mostly what we’re called to do, time and time again, is to witness a unique and precious life as it unfolds, to be exquisitely present, to pay attention, to hold in high esteem, and to just – love. That’s what I’ve been doing all this time.
Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey, with all the stops and mile markers and detours along the way. This is another substation. This ceremony today is a link between all that has come before, which we remember, and all that is yet to be, which we cannot possibly foresee.

But every new moment, lived with consciousness and integrity, promises that what is to come will be worthy of our fondest dreams and highest aspirations. That is what Karen has been living and growing and learning; of this I’m certain! I’ve been watching too. I’m here as her witness. And I’m her biggest fan. Tomorrow is Fathers’ Day and I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be, or anything I’d rather do, than this!

There’s a song Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer wrote that Billy Eckstine used to sing when I was playing in his band:

I remember you
You’re the one who
made my dreams come true
A few
kisses ago…

I remember you
You’re the one who said
I love you, too,
I do
Didn’t you know?

I remember too, a distant bell
And stars that fell, like rain out of the blue
When my life is through
And the angels ask me to recall
the thrill of them all
Then I shall tell them
I remember you!
WOOGIE!”

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