I heard this song on the radio this morning as I drove hastily to a meeting at City of Hope. As I was in the car, I slowed down and turned the radio louder. This familiar song could only mean one thing that it was going to be a good day. But it actually turned out to be anything but a good day.
As I contemplate what this all meant before I turn the sheets down to go to bed. I realized this song gave me strength to complete the day with my head held high. See, this song is not just any song this song is a sacred song.
As sacred as any song can be between a girl and her father. It was in June of 1991, in which I first remember hearing this song as I walked down the aisle to the graduation stage – I was five and I was graduating from kindergarten. It’s weird how you remember such details at such a young age. I remember my long brown hair practically to my waist was curled and I wore a black velvet and taffeta dress underneath my yellow graduation gown. I remember that day well and I remember my sisters friends, my parents all in attendance to see the youngest member of the family participating in an event that may have seemed a little premature.
The song that played as we exited the ceremony was Rod Stewart’s Forever Young. Years later, I am still attached to that song because my dad often told me it was our song. It seemed as his words of advice and love were depicted through the lyrics.
It was as if my father wrote those lyrics specifically for me. I would never have known the weight that they carried until after his death. He died 12 years after I walked across that graduations stage and just 4 months before he died he dedicated this song to me in my senior yearbook.
So after 20 years, this song still means something to me. I thought it was a good omen. But really its words remind me of who I am and where I came from. My dad will and still always has my back.
My father only wished the best in my life. Even though the days that I have ahead of me, I know will only be tougher. I know that I have a strong foundation in which to build my life on.
He left me with these words:
May the good lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you’re far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you’d have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you’ll always stay
Forever young, forever young
May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
With a prince or a vagabond
And may you never love in vain
And in my heart you’ll always remain… Forever Young