Approaching the church where our friends daughter was having her high school graduation ceremony it became clear that I had misjudged the travel time and arrived far too early. This would account for the sparse amount of cars in the parking lot, upon which I double checked my watch, it confirmed my oversight. Rather than waiting around with my two sons I suggested a quick look at the Good Will store just down the road. Wasting no time, off we went, bargain shopping in our blood coursing through our veins.
Once there, it was “divide and conquer”, three people with seemingly choreographed moves fanning out to their promising sections of interest. The boys headed for electronics, while I ventured to the wall hangings, acute to the fact our wall space is limited. Regardless, there I stood looking at a eye catching wooded sign. Rich brown tones, golden accents and letters gracefully spelling out the invitation “I Hope You’ll Dance”. Promptly I began reasoning with myself how the colors were indeed perfect for our living room, softly in awe of this item while its’ tempting price tag boldly declared BUY ME!. Surely our walls could accommodate just one more modest sized plaque. Looking at my watch yet again, being mindful not to be late to the commencement, I made my purchase, found my sons and away we went.
Later after the sweet ceremony, my evening came to a close relaxing at home. “I Hope You’ll Dance” was my song choice for the night… listening to it over and over on YouTube, letting it’s lovely truths lull me.
The very next day a dear friend and former neighbor stopped by to drop off a graduation gift for our son Trent. During her visit she wondered if one of our two sons would dance with her daughter Evelyn at her Mis Quince Anos celebration, and much to my delight our oldest son Derek agreed to. My heart warming as my mind dawdled down memory lane. It seemed like only yesterday when this wonderful family had moved into our neighborhood from California. My husband and I found ourselves instantly forging a friendship with them. Their two children were the same age as ours, a three year old and the other, a mere eighteen months. Now standing before us was a beautiful young woman and handsome young men. Where did the time go?
Just as quickly as vivid snippets of the past quickly inundated my thoughts, they just as rapidly took a sharp turn. With a flip of the switch a light bulb moment illuminated my mind as to why I was so drawn to the “I Hope You’ll Dance” plaque; a fresh new perspective, a fascinating mystery solved. But you know how the saying goes, “there is always more to the story” and this is no exception. Shortly after Derek was asked to dance with Evelyn a change of events occurred, leaving her first dance to now be with her father.
As the months passed, my thoughts didn’t reflect on that wooden plaque unless it was time for a occasional dusting, which come few and far between. Before I knew it October rolled around and the time had come for Evelyn’s Mis Quince Anos. Decorations were up, people arrived and the celebration began. Halfway through the event the banquet hall was hushed to stillness as a beautifully touching slide show of Evelyn life was played. Thoughtful moving music added sentiment to the presentation and then the unexpected happened… the song “I Hope You’ll Dance” began to play… Those words gave me that same stirring that happened four months prior when I found my sign at Goodwill. Thus, it was not a big surprise when later in the evening the DJ invited the audience to a group dance, choosing to seize the moment, longing to conquer my fears of looking foolish and uncoordinated. Collecting myself together, and in one quick moment I stepped onto the dance floor and danced;… something I have not done for over 25 years! It’s been said, “To conquer life is to take one step at a time”. How fun to do it in the form of a dance step… having no doubt that I looked foolish, the unpolished dancer that I am, somehow it seemed rather okay, I was just obeying the “Sign”… I Hope You’ll Dance.