To Ellen on her graduation from high school 2011-06-10

Ellen we love you and are enormously proud of you as our daughter however we realize that we are not alone in feeling this way about our own children. There is an Irishman by the name of 'van Morrison' the same age as me also with a family he loves and a daughter he is proud of. One of the more noticable differences between this van Morison and myself is that he can sing a heck of alot better than I can!! I am going to play you a beautiful song that he sang , starting with a description of how beautiful he found his daughters smile. I share his sentiments.

Apart from this, there are 3 things I would like to comment on. The name of this song is "These are the days". A major aspect of being young as yourself, is in the many hopes and dreams for the future that develop within you  ---  and this is wonderful .. It is one of the forces that will drive you to fulfillment and prosperity . However my hope Ellen, is that you will also learn to stop and enjoy the enormous beauty in the wonderful 'here and now" moments of your life. This inspiration is neccesary to deal with the uphill stretches that inevitably will come.

Van Morison is not a religious singer, but he did sing a line about the "Great magician that turned the water into wine" The wonderful capacity of taking something quite ordinary, and making it into something special is in itself a miricle. Today started off as an ordinary day, I pulled my socks on one foot at a time sitting on the side of our bed, cleared the 'morning' out of my throat just like every other ordinary day. But today Ellen, you and your mom have made it possible to transform this ordinary day into something very special for us all A wonderful experience with a memory that will doublessly inspire us through many of our tomorrows.

One little warning for the future. A little riddle in the bible says that "He that seeks himself will lose himself, but he that loses himself shall find himself. Ellen don't spend all your time and energy on your own personal interests and goals However right and proper they may be, they  will ultimately prove somewhat minor in the major feelings of achievement and satisfaction in life. It is in being able to move focus from yourself, to appreciate the wonderful beauty in the folks and situations that are around you, both in fortune and misfortune, that will lead you the the richest gold of personal fulfillment.

Here comes this song from Van Morrison beginning with a loving tribute to the beauty of his daughters "smiling face". Hope you enjoy it -- I think it fits.

From your mom and dad,



This link is to a 4Mb MP3 music file that may take a few minutes to load.

These are the days by van Morrison

Oh your smiling face your gracious presence
The fires of spring are kindling bright
Oh the radiant heart and the song of glory
Crying freedom in the night

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one magician
Turned the water into wine

These are days of the endless dancing and the
long walks on the summer night
These are the days of the true romancing
When I'm holding you oh so tight

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one great magician
Turned water into wine

These are the days now that we must savor
And we must enjoy as we can

These are the days that will last forever
You've got to hold them in your heart

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