Friday, October 7, 2011


Growing up, I moved from California to Washington DC to Arizona to Washington DC to Venezuela, for two years, to California to Washington DC (three weeks before my senior year) and California. Since we have been married, we have moved from Utah to Washington DC to Utah to Massachusetts to Utah to California to Massachusetts to England, for two years, to California to Washington State to Utah and, for the third time, to California. My great discovery, from all these opportunities, has been that God is mindful of every person involved in moving from one place to another. We have moved our children irrespective of age or stage or grade, as did my parents. It wasn’t without tears, but the wealth of experience and expansion of mind that has come from “ripping and dragging” children “here, there and everywhere” has been worth all the short-lived heartache. When I would pick a child up from school, after that first day, after a new move, it seemed as if there was no hope for recovery. I would then wait patiently to hear the words, “I am SO glad we moved here!” These words always came with emphasis and gratitude as they watched new opportunities grow in to experiences they could not have had in any other way or in any other place … people they would never have met that have become eternally dear. They have all remarked that it has all, most definitely, “worked for good” in their lives.

Once, when we were about to move, I was expressing to my daughter how sad I was to be leaving. She quoted Dr. Suess to me, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” In the final scene of “Last of the Mohicans,” the Mohican father looks out over the vast cavern and talks about all the people that will soon come in and struggle and fight to create a new life … and then he says…. “but once we were here …” Loved ones pass away, we leave homes and friends we love, beloved pets grow old, children grow up …. everything keeps going away … but we get to keep it ALL and we find that moving, leaving, passing, changing has nothing to do with losing and everything to do with gaining. It is all held in our hearts; memorized, remembered, held sacred, forever.

My Dad, who taught me, better than anyone else, how to “move” through life, would often expose us to the wisdom of Dr. Suess. “Oh The Places You Will Go,” was, for obvious reasons, a favorite of his in his quest to open the hearts of his seven children to all the possibilities for “wonder.”

I have written a poem that I dedicate to my Father who was successful in that quest.

me with my father


…Don’t want to grow up …. Please Daddy please
Let me still be the child at your knee
Let me still hear your lullabyes sing
Let me still sail upon your wings…

Daughter dear… but can’t you see
Come with me…we’ll climb our tree
Look out there at mountains high
Look straight up and see the sky
Look at forests… and oceans beyond
And at the soft meadows and lily-filled ponds

You will want to see the world
Watch God’s plan for you unfurled
You’ll learn to dance and sing and think
Be all grown up before we blink
You’ll breathe in all God’s hopes for you
And breathe out love in all you do
You’ll learn, then teach…you’ll save mankind
You’ll bless the earth with ties that bind
I’ve taught you well and you will know
Just what to do and where to go
You’ll love the Lord with all your soul
And bring His lost into His fold

And one day Heaven will reach down
And bring new ones …jewels in your crown
And you will bring all life within
Into their hearts….teach where they’ve been…
And where they’ll go …like you and me
You’ll climb our tree…show them the sea

And round and round our circles go
Oh, daughter mine… you’ll one day know
That searching far and wide will bring
More than any song can sing
You’ll love life…its gifts…its days
And seek always His Name to praise…

Dedicated to My Father
Written by Karen Nelson

1 comment:

Kristin Wilson said...

Every time I read one of your posts, I love it more than the last. And every time, I'm reminded how much I love you, my dear sister Karen!