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What Do I Know?

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Five years before my daughter, Abby, was even engaged, I wrote a song with my friend, Don Koch, called, “What Do I Know?” The song is about a dad’s emotional struggle about giving his daughter away. Of course, that dad is me.

I knew the day was inevitable and tried to project my emotional state. Even then, the thought made me my heart sink, my knees weak, and my eyes wet. I jokingly told her I’d be doing her wedding via satellite.

When I wrote this song, however, I never once even imagined she’d fall in love with an Aussie and move to Australia. So her wedding events and day were filled with an extra amount of emotion as our window of time together would come to a sudden end with her moving to the Land Down Under.

In the hundreds of photos taken by the wedding photographer, most of me were as you see below. I assured Abby they were not sad tears. I was and am thrilled for her and her new adventurous life with Alex. They make a great team. God is good.

With the exception of the “lanky and juvenile” part, I think I got it pretty right. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get a Kleenex. I’m about to watch this again:

What Do I Know?IMG_1840

Father of Girls

My Dad’s favorite singer was Perry Como or, as Bing Crosby referred to him, “the man who invented casual.” I can picture Dad sitting in the living room with his eyes closed and head tilted back soaking up Como’s every note. “Now he is a singer,” Dad would say, “every note is effortless.”

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“Mr. C,” as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records. He also pioneered the weekly musical variety television show. He was the 7th of 13 children and when his parents emigrated from Italy, he was the first to be born in the United States. Along with his smooth-as-silk voice, he was known for his high integrity and demand for decency. If he felt something in one of his TV shows crossed the line, he would publicly apologize for it in his next show. Imagine…

One Christmas back in 2003 while visiting my parents’ home, we were listening to Perry softly crooning many of our favorite Christmas songs. Then came The Father of Girls. I had not heard the song before and was captivated by the lyrics and melody. You see, I was the father of a girl and every note he sang made me think of my daughter. Abby was then 13 years old, beautiful, full of personality and adventure. I was a nervous wreck.

We somehow survived Abby’s teenage years and I certainly took to heart the message from the song, When you’re the father of boys you worry. But when you’re the father of girls, you do more than that…you pray.

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And now I have had that experience that simultaneously fills a Dad’s heart with joy and dread: a young man asked if I would give my blessing and permission for him to ask my little girl to marry him. I knew it was coming, but was woefully unprepared. I did my best to not appear a blubbering idiot, but failed miserably. He was asking for my treasure.

So it was soon thereafter, a young man named Alex got down on a knee and with my blessing, asked my beautiful daughter, Abby, to marry him. She said, “Yes!” of course. I had no doubt she would. (You can see their engagement video here.)

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I had the opportunity to record my own rendition of Father of Girls which you can see the music video HERE. The song lyrics rapidly move through time saying, “From the time of diaper and pin, till the time she cries ‘don’t come in,’ till the time you gown her in white and give her away…” Now these lyrics are coming true and the emotions running through my head and heart are difficult to describe.  Can I ever really “give her away?”

It’s Father’s Day weekend and Abby will be out of town. She’ll call of course; probably FaceTime. We’ll talk about all the wedding plans underway and she’ll beam with excitement. She’ll ask how I’m doing with all the wedding thoughts and plans and my eyes will fill with tears as a thousand memories flood through my heart and brain. After all, it really was just yesterday I was trying to figure out those diaper and pin things.

Oh, did I mention they will be living in Australia?

Time to listen to Father of Girls again.

 

Baby That’s Love

I admit it, I need a kleenex every time I watch one of those “soldier comes home” videos where they surprise their family. I’m reminded of the sacrifice made not only from the soldier, but of all the family and friends. I wrote a ballad a few years back with my friend, Don Koch, which seemed a nice fit for some of my favorite “soldier reunited with family” clips. It was also fun to include clips from my son and daughter’s engagements.

The idea behind “Baby That’s Love” is enduring love–love that survives through thick and thin even when it comes to saying goodbye. The song is on my “Beautiful Feet” CD which is available, of course, on iTunes. Hope you enjoy it, too…with or without a kleenex.

Ed’s 2008 Christmas Letter

Strange things are afoot.

My youngest son’s voice is suddenly lower than mine. I have to hold the newspaper at arms length to read the tiny type.  It’s taking less and less time for the barber to cut my hair and some days, I’ll even watch the news over Sponge Bob Square Pants.  And is it me, or does Santa not look quite as old as he used to…

So, with all the extra time I’ve saved up at the barbershop, here’s a quick family update:

David, Abby, & Matt

L-R: David, Abby, & Matt

Matt (21) is starting to believe he may actually graduate from college.  He’s majoring in advertising with a minor in film so eventually, he’ll be able to advertise the films he’s produced.  He seems to come up with an amazing new idea every week and only lacks a government bailout to fund his dreams.  In the meantime, we’ve tapped into his very creative reservoir and are enjoying “Matt the intern” at LOGOI. He’s also the star of our new music video, which you can see at:

Matt’s Music Video Debut

Not knowing what to get him for his 21st birthday, we decided it was time for him to jump out of an airplane. 10,000 feet later, I broke out into a cold sweat as I watched Matt jump out the door.  A minute later, a very mean man pushed me out, too.

While Matt thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of dropping some 1,000 feet per second going 120 mph, I spent the time screaming like Jamie Lee Curtis in a Halloween movie.  Alas, the harnesses held and my doctor tells me my eyeballs will eventually slide back into place.

Abby (18) excitedly became a college coed in spite of my lucrative bribes to stay home with daddy.  She’s amazed how quickly her freshman year is flying by and between sorority functions, working in the intramural department, and Facebooking her million or so friends, has found a few moments to study.

I’m still a bit traumatized over leaving her standing in the middle of the college campus when we had to head back home.  Just to give you an idea, hearing my heavy sobs, the nice taxi driver who took us to the airport looked at me and said, “c’mon man…you’re starting to make me cry.”  I don’t do “goodbyes” very well.

I was pleased to learn, however, that Abby missed us greatly for close to 15 minutes.  She’s making great friends, studying hard, and still very much wants to be a physical therapist.

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After winning last season MVP awards for JV football, basketball, and baseball, David (15) has finally landed in high school to the great delight of varsity coaches.  As the starting quarterback for the varsity football team, he helped lead his team to an impressive 7-3 record (winning more games than the previous three years combined).  Along the way he became the 10th leading passer and 6th leading rusher in Dade County (3A-1A).

He was also named an “Athlete of the Week” by the Miami Herald. Naturally, I made a highlight video.  Just click here to watch #13 in action: David’s Highlight Video.

He had a full day off before starting varsity basketball and of course, baseball is on the horizon.  He’s having to learn how to study and do his school work in between games and on bus rides, but he’s determined to maintain his high honor roll status. His work ethic and competitive intensity are hard to match and nothing excites him more than “game days.”

Jenn continues her career as an administrator at our Christian K-12 school, but she’s a lot more excited these days about her new kitchen.  She’s only needed one for the last ten years and has somehow managed to prepare amazing meals with a kitchen and stove built in the 1800’s featuring two out of four burners that worked—on occasion.  So it was with great rejoicing that she remodeled her kitchen into a beautiful, granite laden, cabinet-a-plenty, state-of-the-art kitchen Rachel Ray would be proud of.

For several days, she just stood in the kitchen smiling, turning the burners off and on.  To celebrate, we ordered pizza.

Ed & Jenn

Ed & Jenn

My work continues at the ministry of LOGOI.  A highlight this year was having a LOGOI board meeting in Cuba.  Now that’s something you don’t do every day!  It’s a very strange feeling to stand on a beach facing Miami and consider the danger and trek so many have made to reach freedom.  It is a joy to be a part of helping the church proclaim the Gospel in the beautiful country of Cuba and throughout Latin America.

Another highlight was recording my third CD.  I felt like I’d hit the “big time” when multi-Dove Award winning producer, Don Koch, said, “let’s work together.”And just so you can never say I didn’t get you anything for Christmas,click on the link below for a FREE mp3 of one of my new songs:

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

“Beautiful Feet” will be released in early 2009…and I’m expecting every one of you to buy at least a dozen copies each!  It’s all original work at an entirely new professional level for me…complete with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.  Nice!

So, Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.  May the love and grace of Jesus fill our hearts and lives.

The Thompsons

Looking for “Beautiful Feet”

I need your help!

We’re now on the back end of our CD project, so we’re starting to think through various ways to get the word out. These days, you have to think along the lines of utilizing what many call, “new media:” things like YouTube, web blogs, and internet communities like FaceBook. For the over 40 crowd, this stuff seems strange and foreign, but there is no debating its influence and popularity.

So I reached out to a “new media” expert…my 21-year-old son, Matt. Basically, my meeting went something like this, “HELP ME!” It was a short, powerful meeting.

One of Matt’s favorite songs on my new CD is a song titled “Beautiful Feet.” It’s based around the familiar passages from Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15, “…how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” The lyrics begin:

Look around at some people these days
Nippin’ and tuckin’ every wrinkle away
Lookin’ for beauty every single way
Search the world out
Except where it counts

But we all know where true beauty is found
Where ever it goes such joy abounds
It’s easy to find cuz it’s walking around
You know when you meet
Beautiful feet

Big ol’ toes and calloused heels
Nothing very pretty by the world’s ideals
But when they’re bringing (all) the Good News
People dancing in the street
Everybody wants to have beautiful feet

Here’s an unedited/unfinished preview of the song: Beautiful Feet

Matt’s idea is to come up with an engaging “New Media” music video and campaign for this song. His initial idea is a video with camera angles primarily focused on legs and feet going about various ministry and service projects. The camera would follow the feet around and finally, towards the end of the song/video, the camera would pull back to fully reveal what the “feet” are doing: helping people in a homeless shelter, service projects, teaching Sunday School, bringing groceries to those in need, etc.

We then thought how great it would be to learn your “beautiful feet” stories…a short paragraph or two about what you (or someone you know) is doing that’s making a difference in the lives of others. We’d love to publish some of these “beautiful feet” stories, pictures, and even videos on our website as an encouragement to others. Some “beautiful feet” stories could even end up in the music video!

So come on! Help me out. The more involvement, suggestions, and ideas the better! You can email me at edthompsonlive@edthompsonlive.com or simply add a comment to this blog. So, tell us more about your “beautiful feet!”

Can’t wait to hear from you,

Ed Thompson

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