Friday, February 23, 2007

My daughter the transformer

I became a father for the third time 20 years ago this month. I began dating a very nice woman with a daughter who was a junior in high school. Now, not everything lasts forever, but by the time we said goodbye, the daughter was in grad school and had become my oldest child.

The first thing her mother said in that bittersweet conversation was, "I don't want this to affect your relationship with Paige." And it didn't. She was, by then, well on her way to becoming an Episcopal priest, and, since then, has married my youngest and his wife (see above) and baptized two of my (now) four granddaughters. And, as it happens, she's now my geographically-closest kin, being about two hours away in York Harbor, ME.

When she isn't marrying folks or dunking babies, Paige is busy transforming the world, and has come up with something called the U2charist, a eucharist service that uses the music of U2 to help spread the gospel of mercy and charity, and, specifically, the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty. As you'll see (and hear) here, the movement has spread throughout this country and has extended to England, New Zealand and Hong Kong as well.

I'm not a churchgoing type, and I'm not a big U2 fan, either. But I'm a huge fan of getting to watch a person reach out and transform the world -- especially when it's somebody I'd love anyway.

Here's to 20 more years of voluntary kinship.


Paige Blair said...

I love you!

Your oldest child,

Mark Jackson said...

Cool. Did I mention that my oldest is a ministerial intern in Boston this year? (The musical influences he lists are Phil Ochs and Billy Bragg.)

And at the risk of upsetting the warm, fuzzy atmosphere: punch one of the demerit tabs on your editor's card - you misused "effect" for "affect"!

Mike said...

I don't know what you're talking about, Mark. (Sad when your friends begin to lose it ... )

Mark Jackson said...

Odd. Better have my eyes checked - that kind of mistake is doubleplus ungood.

Sherwood Harrington said...

It says a lot about both of you that you've stayed so close.

My boys' stepfather stayed close to them after he and their mom divorced more than 20 years ago. Shallow as I am, I resented that a bit for a while, but came to realize that love and support aren't zero-sum games and should always be welcomed.

He was a great support to Doug right up to the end, and continues to be for Adam.

Good on all of you.

ronnie said...

This is so cool.

If I was a believer I'd want to believe in a God who dug U2.

And boy amd I embarrassed to admit that I just now realized that "Mike's daughter, the minister" and "RACS Paige, the minister" are the same person.

To quote a great American: "D'oh!"

Mike said...

RACS Paige and my Paige?


Un-doh yourself. Or bestow it for jumping to THIS conclusion!

ronnie said...

So your daughter Paige the Minister and the poster to RACS Paige the Minister are on different Pa(i)ges?

Now my brain hurts.

How many ministers named Paige you got running around down there in the Yoo Ess?