Raise your hand if you have a name that you have been explaining since kindergarten.
Please come sit next to me.
My name is extra challenging. I get e-mails all the time asking me how to say it and how to pronounce it and how to spell it and if there is a capital letter in the middle.
You can thank my mother. She fell in love with my father and all things scandinavian and heard a name that was full of romance. And then? There was no turning back.
All eight beautiful, wonderful letters.
I owe them all to a Norwegian movie spectacular called “Windjammer”……
…..and a little song called, “Kari Waits For Me.”
…you can see the lyrics here.
Suffice it to say that the song is all about Kari waiting for a sailor beside a restless sea.
She’s waiting and he’s sailing.
He’s off on the sea visiting foreign lands with the tradewinds taking him all over the globe. And all the while he’s having the adventure of a lifetime?
Kari is waiting.
(total aside: I can’t decide if Kari is inspiring or pitiful—but that is a discussion for another day.)
My mother named me after “Kari Waits For Me” and my father sang it to me my entire life. I would perch at his feet as he would pull out his guitar, softly strumming the words and in a lilting voice, he would sing my song.
He would sing about Kari and her sailor and far-off lands and the ever-blowing trade winds.
If I close my eyes now, I can still hear his voice.
It was my favorite song in the whole world.
Ever….in the history of ever.
On my wedding day, my father walked me down the aisle in my grandmother’s wedding dress and handed me off amidst tears and hugs to the arms of a twinkling brown-eyed sailor.
The irony isn’t lost on me either.
After the wedding, my father surprised me at the reception.
He walked out strumming his guitar singing“Kari Waits For Me.” Softly. Sweetly. The words of that song drifted out across the darkened room. My eyes welled up as I listened to the song he had sung to me my entire life.
And when he reached the second verse…
…suddenly there was harmony.
Another voice joined the song.
It was my husband. Out of the darkness, he walked toward my father with his guitar over his shoulder.
Singing my song.
Together my husband and my father sang and sang and sang to me.
And I stood there as the tears ran down my face.
Suddenly, my father stopped singing, played a just few more notes and quietly faded off the stage.
Leaving only my husband standing alone…
..singing my song.
The song from my father.
The song of my childhood.
The torch had been passed.
“Kari Waits For Me” started a new chapter.
A new life.
A new beginning.
A new story.
Several years ago after my father passed away, we found these hand-written note cards filled with the precious, wonderful, incredible words of “Kari Waits For Me.”
It was the words and chords to the song written by my father on that long-ago night.
Written down for the next generation–left behind to tell the tale of a father who loved a daughter.
A father who loved her enough to let her go.
A father who loved her enough to equip her for the journey.
A father who loved her enough to show her how special she was in the best way he knew how.
And a father who guided her to a brand new chapter in her life…
…by singing his heart.
If you ever wondered if I was ready?
Just look at that face.
I’m ready to meet you. 🙂
PS You say my name like the word “car” with a long “e.” And in awkward name news there is a capital “A” in the middle.
Again, you can thank my mother.
PSS There’s nothing better than a story and a spring project. You can see how I made this spring wreath with eucalyptus here.