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When I was young there was a very distasteful and funny joke that went around. It goes “What is the definition of mixed emotion?”……..answer….”Seeing your mother-in-law go off the cliff in your brand new Cadillac.”

Now that I am a father-in-law, and in a generation that views in-laws in a more positive manner, that joke is not that funny…..although it makes a point. The point is that we can hold more than one emotion at a time, even when they seem to be polar opposites. That is where I am today.

Yesterday I put my youngest daughter, Kelsey, now 22 and a recent college grad on a plane with her girl friend Randi (see picture on main page)to Australia for 6-12 months. I am scared, sad and excited, all at the same time. The truth is that when I was her age, I didn’t have the guts to do what she is doing and so I am so proud of how she steps into fear and how she is willing to go after what she wants.

As a father I am also scared as the only plans they have made were for the first 9 nights at a discount hotel to see what there next step is. When I get scared, I plan…….she doesn’t and that amazes me. Their agenda is to have a life experience so when they come back they will never regret that they didn’t go after their dreams.

I could go on with my reasons to be scared and sad, most of which are pretty obvious, yet I am choosing to support and love her as she goes on her hero’s journey. She is an amazing woman and I trust her judgment. She is ready……..whether I was is another story.

Most of the advice I gave her, unsolicited of course, was not met with open arms, in fact, we had a few heated discussions about these. What was met with open arms was I gave her two of my rocks/crystals that I have collected over time. One had the word trust on it and the other one had the word HOPE…..two very important ideas to me. My message to her, my bear, is ….I trust you bear and hope you get everything you want from your journey……I will be here waiting for you when you come back…..I love you bear.

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