Going the Distance

I have often dreamed of a far off place
Where a hero’s welcome will be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer, when they see my face
And a voice keeps saying this is where I’m meant to be

I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong

Down an unknown road to embrace my fate
Though that road may wander, it will lead me to you
And a thousand years would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime but somehow I’ll see it through

And I won’t look back, I can go the distance
And I’ll stay on track, no I won’t accept defeat
It’s an uphill slope, but I won’t lose hope,

till I go the distance and my journey is complete

But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero’s strength is measured by his heart

Like a shooting star, I will go the distance
I will search the world, I will face its harms
I don’t care how far, I can go the distance
‘Till I find my hero’s welcome waiting in your arms

I will search the world, I will face its harms
‘Till I find my hero’s welcome waiting in your arms

When did Disney’s Hercules come out? 1997? (Yup, just Googled it). To me…Michael Bolton’s version of the song is the definitive song from the film (the way “Whole New World” is for Aladdin, or “Beauty and the Beast” from “Beauty and the Beast” or such. A “real” version of the song, not the version from within the film, but from the end credits or such.

I don’t remember detail from the film the way I do for 1989’s The Little Mermaid, 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, 1992’s Aladdin, or 1994’s The Lion King.

But the song…it has stuck with me over the years.


Graduation year.

High school graduation, that is.

I believe the day was June 6, 1999. Forgive me if I’m “off” on that, we’re nearly 24 years later, more than half a lifetime later, and I’m NOT gonna Google stuff to figure out the date.

I remember the old house, in Eastlake. My bedroom there. Having some sort of CD “walkman” and headphones.

And so. many. people. Or it seemed that way.

Me, sister, parents…grandparents, aunts, uncle.

Crammed in that house.

And without getting into all the self-analyzing and such…all I wanted was several MINUTES to just listen to the song myself.

We were getting ready to head to whatever that theater was where the graduation ceremony was to take place.

And me being me, being who and what I was at the time…MY way to get psyched up and situated/prepared for stuff…I just wanted to listen to the song. Close my eyes, blare the headphones, and let it take me over for a few moments.

It was the end of high school. It was reaching my far off place. As graduation things are wont to do, it would be a sort of hero’s welcome. I was embarking down an unknown road from there to embrace my ‘fate’/what was to come.

Sentimental FOOL.

But whatever.

Back to the house: I didn’t know it at the time but it was one of the last times those people would be together in that house.

And I sure did not appreciate the enormity of that; of having so much family in one space at the same time; from both sides of the family. Kneeland AND Ringland.

And of course, they were there for ME. Because I was graduating high school. Some big, important thing…blah. So many thoughts I’m not gonna get into on THAT front.

But here in 2023, 24 years later…what I wouldn’t give to see the folks that were there with me then, again now.

So ok, enough rambling on that front.


Whatever the song meant to me then, and for most of the past 22 1/2 years…and whatever it was INTENDED as (Hercules seeking his father?)…its meaning has shifted MIGHTILY for me these past nearly-17 months.

It’s both spiritual–the road we travel, that race, that journey, ultimately to stand before God and Jesus;

And it’s that missing Dad, knowing that for whatever reason(s), I have however much time left on this Earth.

As “Scars in Heaven” speaks: he’s fought his fight and his race is run.

But I have some distance left in mine.

And that song that once represented some open, unknown future to me…well, I guess now it represents a destination I’ll be searching for the rest of my days.

And all this rambling tonight, and I don’t even begin to have it in me to get into much detail right now…but another growing realization I’ve had bubbling to the surface of conscious thought is that there are a number of people–family–that I have never properly grieved.

And it’s increasingly obvious to me that that has something to do with my grieving process these last 17 months with Dad.

Because not having people in my every-day present life, maybe I was able to stifle stuff. To run from it, to hide from it. Not let myself FEEL it, not lean into it, not realize the awesome enormity of the losses.

And now, with Dad, maybe some of that grieving has poured out, and I’ve been able to focus/channel it toward him, even as I never did with others.

But as I’m often saying/thinking…a lotta that’s for some other post some other time. Whether or not I ever actually commit it to writing/posting.