A Graduation Gift

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Usually at graduation time, the gift goes to the graduate. But for my daughter’s high school graduation, the gift came to me.

She’s a singer, and for her choir’s final concert, I had hoped she would sing something people would remember. Something like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which she had recorded, beautifully, for her godfather her first semester in high school. I wondered what it would sound like now, four years later.

But final semester in high school is a busy time: last exams, endless choir practice, benefit performances with her band, and most stressful of all, college auditions. She was exhausted, and didn’t have time for the “Hallelujah.”

Worse, she was acting fairly peculiar, even for her. She would go places, and not tell me where. A week before graduation, on Mother’s Day, her mother (naturally) and she spent the afternoon and entire evening at her boyfriend’s mother’s house. Unnaturally, I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t even told this was happening, until it had already happened.

Three days later, after her final high school concert, I confessed to my daughter I was a little disappointed that she hadn’t sung something people would remember; something that I would remember. She suggested we all drive up to a lookout point in the foothills near our home, park the car, and talk about it.

She drove the rising, winding road, her mother and I gripping the sides of our seats as we climbed higher and higher. She pulled off to the cliff’s edge, set the parking brake, killed the ignition but not the electrical system, and told me to close my eyes. I heard her slip a CD into the car player, heard the opening bars of a beautiful but unfamiliar guitar solo, and opened my eyes. I looked out at the midnight stars and heard the lovely chords go on for about a minute. Then I heard my daughter, singing. The “Hallelujah.”

She and my wife hadn’t spent Mother’s Day with another mother. They had spent it in the studio, recording.

I thought it magnificent, thrilling. I wanted to hear it again. It’s a long song. When it was over, after I’d hugged my daughter and thanked her for this graduation gift, we all agreed I’d drive back down. My wife’s and my knuckles hadn’t quite got the blood back into them after the trip up. I turned the ignition. The battery was dead.

It was worth it. And I will remember it all my days. I think you will, too. Just click on the link below.

P.S.: The musicians are JJ Evanoff on guitar; Joe Roessler on keyboards and Eamonn Morris on bass; BK Kahn on drums; and my daughter, Kay-Kay Rosmarin, she’s the singer.

All are graduates of Fairview High School, in Boulder, Colorado.

01 Hallelujah


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