Growing Older Extra: Reader Essay by Rev. Gary Hanson

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

W2017_GrowingOlderExtraRev.GaryHanson_Inline300 Our immediate family had been seated and members of the bridal party cascaded down the steps at the front of the church. The music began for the bride’s entrance and eyes turned toward the back of the sanctuary.

The wedding coordinator beckoned my daughter and me to step forward from the hidden staircase and take our places. Anxious yet resolute, I whispered, “Are you ready? Let’s go!”

The ancient Greeks called a kairos moment that opportune time when an event of monumental significance occurs. I had always played the role of protector and champion for my daughter—at least in my own mind! I thought back to my own wedding, to my parents’ and their parents’ before them. Now, in this setting, a new family would be established and the beautiful circle of life would continue. It was a kairos moment.

Emotion washed over me. Tears of happiness welled from somewhere inside and I glanced at my daughter for encouragement. Her silent weeping affirmed our father-daughter bond. Taking deep breaths, we linked arm in arm for support, and like Dorothy and the scarecrow, continued determinedly down the aisle.

My 67 years have been rich and full beyond measure. But the astonishing joy I experienced during that short walk with my daughter felt unlike anything else.

- The Rev. Gary Hanson (B.A. ’71), Woodbury

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MINNESOTA ALUMNI MAGAZINE, Winter2017

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