La Silencia

Today is The Judge’s birthday.
I won’t spill the beans on how old she is. That would be foolish on my part.
Btw, if you’ve considered getting a gift, I would suggest that campaign contributions make a very nice one.

But as you’d imagine, I’m deeply grateful she was born.

I’ve been meditating on her and on our marriage a lot lately, ever since our 20th Anniversary last month.

When Dennise was a baby, she apparently didn’t cry much. That earned her the first of several family nicknames: “La Silencia.”

Interestingly, one of the things that first attracted me to her was her silence. Early in our relationship, we found that we could spend long, quiet, periods together and not really have to speak much.
It wasn’t emptiness. Or awkwardness.

As time went on, our relationship deepened and, unsurprisingly, my sense of the silence changed. As we grew closer, I learned the silence was often more complicated. Sometimes, things were going on.

Sometimes, as you might imagine, we had to learn to break sometimes awkward silence. For sure, we’ve both learned to share more. To speak up. Even the tough stuff.

But times of that peaceful silence remain.

The first year we dated, John Gorka came out with his great song, “Silence.”

It’s always reminded me of Dennise. And of us.

So, below are some of the lyrics I’ve always resonated with, along with a great video of John doing the song. (accompanied by the amazing Michael Manring).

Happy Birthday, Babe…

From “Silence” by John Gorka
“Love came unexpectedly
Late to the bill
An added attraction
The way it goes
The way it stays

And when she is far away
Still I feel her here
Every since she made the day
And the lonely man disappear
Into that silence
Into that silence ”

(Buy the song here)


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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