I want to tell you a story of a magical moment, and how a little six-year-old hippie saved the day.
…it goes a little something like this,
My daughter was graduating from UC Santa Cruz some years back. Many family members were present. I was proud to have been active in her life during the four years she was in school. I got to watch her grow into an amazing woman.
A few years prior to her leaving for collage, I was anything but a present parent. But, now on a new path with my daughter, we had been experiencing a much better relationship; so what happened next caught me off guard and threatened to ruin her celebration.
The night before the graduating ceremony we all went out for dinner, to the vegetarian restaurant of her choice. As we waited for our meals to be served small talk arose.
My sister takes out the graduation invitation my daughter had sent her. I had yet to receive mine, for which my daughter apologized, stating, “I don’t know why I haven’t managed to get it in the mail to you.” Several times before the graduation I resisted feeling insulted, or taking her oversight personally. But by the time the umpth person at the table bragged and celebrated the receipt of their invitation, I was hurt, and fully insulted.
Barely holding back my tears, all I could think about was how I could gracefully leave the table without drawing unnecessary attention to myself. This was my daughter’s special occasion, and I was fully aware my ego was threatening to blow it.
I stood up and swiftly made my way to the restroom area. Tears were rolling down by now. If I didn’t get grounded soon, I knew my emotions and ego would get the better of me. I called a good friend to help me resist this plunge into self pity – no answer. I prayed…and waited. I prayed again, God, if you’re present you need to ground me now! Please, for god’s sake pull back these tears so I can support my daughter!”
For several months I had been practicing the song Proud Mary, by Tina Turner. What happened in the next moment was simply magical.
I begin to hear the rhythm to that very song. I look to my right and see a six-year-old, barefoot girl in tie dye singing, “…I left a good job in the city…”.
Without looking at me, she continues the song as if it were meant for me. And so I chime in, “…rolling, rolling, rolling on the river…”
To some this might appear a mere classic case of serendipity. It was serendipitous for sure. It was also magical and god-sent. As the angst of my wounded ego threatened to spiral and ruin my daughter’s celebration, I am saved by a little girl in tie dye singing Proud Mary – a song I had been preparing to sing, you might say, for that very moment.
I was immediately grounded. The little girl and I continued to sing the lyrics. Now a duet, the both of us smile as we finish the song. After a moment of silence, I bowed to this little angle and thanked her. She knew exactly what I was thanking her for, and replies, “you’re welcome.”
We both walked away and returned to our families, never to see each other again.