The telephone rang and the male voice on the other end asked cheerfully “is my daughter Alana there?”
That left little doubt who was calling – her father Alan Keith Cook whose memory and military service we honor today.
There was also little doubt as to the pride and love Mr. Cook felt for his daughter. After more than 30 years they were working to re-knit a relationship unraveled by time, distance and struggles to survive.
On the telephone, you could hear in Mr. Cook’s voice an exuberance that their ties were renewed and his daughter had done well in life despite their separation.
We can only speculate that his life was improving as well with God’s peace and love touching his soul.
What makes great art is its reflection of life.
In that theme, Mr. Cook’s life had parallels with a musical titled “Carousel” where a man named Billy fathers a daughter days before dying. He is sent back to earth 15 years later and the plot unfolds as he helps a daughter struggling with unfair stereotypes and life.
At the musical’s end, Billy, whispers to his daughter, telling her to have confidence in herself as she and others sing the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
I can imagine Mr. Cook, in his way, echoing this song:
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.
Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.
(Play Johnny Cash version)