Saturday, May 25, 2013

For Teryn

I was embarrassingly old (like, really) when I finally got a grasp on what the lyrics to the song "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan meant. I finally figured out that "young" in the song doesn't mean age, but emotions, attitude and openness - the opposite of bitterness, resentment and close mindedness. A wish for you to stay your best self, no matter what your age.

For a few weeks now, I have wanted to write this post in tribute to my daughter, who just graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and post for her my favorite version of Forever Young, sung by Joan Baez. But I was a little thrown when I found out that this is apparently a graduation song staple, used over and over again in graduation ceremonies for everything from pre-K (oi vey) to college. However, now trite or not, this song has special meaning to me beyond a graduation wish. 

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, my family listened to the Beatles on a reel to reel tape player, had Peter Max  and peace and love posters (remember that one with the heart and the dove?), listened to Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, folk music, great Motown, had tire-tread sandals, made our own yogurt and bread, grew our own veggies and bean sprouts, eschewed sugar (well, except for the million candy bars I snuck and bought), rocked out to Hair, and listened to Joan Baez non-stop. I took my beloved guitar everywhere with me. I loved all of it. Even my dad's sideburns and purple polyester tank top and purple velveteen shorts. And my mom's psychedelic print dress made of paper. Sorry to call you out, Mom and Dad. 
Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees...
Mom's was much hipper, but same basic idea

Point being, Forever Young, sung by Joan Baez is a song of multiple meanings to me, and expresses my deepest wishes for my daughter, of whom I am extraordinarily proud.

Teryn has had open heart surgery, and has been through multiple chronic health issues and family issues. Yet still, she graduated high school from the North Carolina School of Science and Math and has worked all through college to pay for her room and board, phone, car and all those things that add up. And throughout it all, she kept on top of her school work, graduating from UNC at Chapel Hill with a double major and a minor. 

She has had her tough times, like we all have. She has lived life and made choices and learned, like we all have. But most importantly, she is one strong young woman who will continue to grow and learn about herself and deepen her strength. 

For you, Teryn:

My Girl

The Graduate
You are amazingly awesome.

Love, Mom