One Last Look, Before You Leap

I can’t tell you what my friend Tom Prasada-Rao meant when he wrote his song, “Maria.” I’ve probably heard him play it a couple of dozen times, and listened the recording a ton more than that.

But I can tell you what the chorus means to me, and what I’ve known it would mean to me for a few years now. It means this day right here.

This. Very. Day.

Maria is mostly all packed up. We’re more than halfway loaded.

We’ll watch a little gymnastics in a bit —always a fun thing to do with her— and then it’s off to bed, and out the door early tomorrow for Arkansas.

I’m so proud of her. We’re all so filled with a variety of emotions…such a gamut right now.

“Take one last look, before you leap.
Miles to go, before you sleep…”

I’ve learned enough about life by now that nothing ever ends, really. It just changes and moves on. Nothing will ever be the same, and plenty will always be the same.

So, she goes on this next part of the adventure. And whatever happens…

“The river runs deep…”



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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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