Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
Growing up, my sister and I would go through these music phases. We went through a Beatles phase. Then a Simon & Garfunkel phase. There was even a Partridge Family obsession, though that one was pretty much all me.
As we got a bit older, we refined our tastes a bit, and pretty soon, we were obsessed with a certain British musician. He seemed hip and worldly, like he’d seen life and really experienced it, you know? Not to mention the fact that he wasn’t afraid to be himself. It was all quite intoxicating, to say the least.
Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young”
From Out of Order
It’s funny because I hadn’t thought of Mr. Stewart for several years. The more I thought about that song, the more the lyrics just kept looping through my mind. Honestly, the song perfectly encapsulates so much about my life and who I am; it’s easy to see how much of a theme it is for my life. The perfect new theme song? I think so.
On the way home from lunch on my birthday, we heard “Forever Young” on the radio and I realized I’d found a new theme song. That’s how I want to live my life — maybe it was a message from my father? Either way, it was the perfect end to a really great day!!!
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
Forever Young, Forever Young
Maybe I was just overly emotional with it being my birthday and all, but as I sat there in the backseat of our car, those words just cut me like a knife. It was like all these conversations I always thought I’d have with my father. Only now, I’ll never get to have those conversations. For so long, I thought about all the things I’d say to him if I had the chance, but I never gave much thought to all the things he might want to tell me. Maybe part of that had to do with my anger, but as that anger disappears, my perspective seems to be changing as well.
May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
With a prince or a vagabond
I can just picture my father giving me all sorts of advice, just like he used to. He was always so fond of telling stories and imparting wisdom, and I miss his presence so much, looking over my shoulder and encouraging me onward. He was, as you can probably guess, the ultimate cheerleader.
And when you finally fly away
I’ll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell
But whatever road you choose
I’m right behind you, win or lose
Because, really, there’s just so much I want to chat with him about — so many questions about life and what to do and if he’d be proud of me. Those moments are never going to happen, so maybe, in a sense, that’s what I’m mourning. The loss of those future father-daughter talks. And trust me, my father could talk your ear off. About anything and everything, actually. I think that’s where I get my chit-chatty nature from because I’ve been known to talk a blue streak, obviously.
In the end, I like to think that the words of the song are what my father would want for me. I like to think that this is the sort of wisdom he’d pass down to me. And I like to think that he’d be proud of the woman I’ve become. So be sure to hug your father today. After all, don’t you think he deserves it?