So, my Dad died.
On New Year’s Day 2016…
Less than one hour after midnight.
The whole ordeal was Murphy’s f’n law from beginning of the ordeal ’til the grave took him.
In one word… DEVASTATION.
If I may, metaphorically, losing my Dad is a DEVASTATION bowl of ice-cream topped with bitter loneliness, anger, dead spiders, tar, fear, mud, needles, shards of glass, vomit and void.
It took the music right out of me… I’ve had to bolt right out of department stores and grocery stores in order to avoid hearing music ever since he died. I haven’t truly sang a note. I haven’t touched a guitar. He taught me how to play guitar. He accompanied me the first time I sang to an audience. I’m a musician and my father is my musical root!
Something finally snapped me back this week… Snatched me from the quicksand. I could actually feel and smell spring on the way today. For the first time in two years. I have hope.
I’m so inspired that I re-visited a song I wrote a long time ago. (It’s a damn good song.) I sang the lyrics out loud for two days while driving home from work.
Tonight I pulled the red guitar out of its case… I was ready to fill out my song with beautiful chords.
A little history on the Red Guitar. It was the first guitar I purchased in my early 20s. My Dad loved the way it played.
One Christmas I was more than broke… I couldn’t buy him or my mother gifts for Christmas so I gave them two of my valuables: a diamond ring and the Red Guitar.
My dad tried to give me back the guitar every single time I saw him ever since. He LOVED it.
The Red Guitar is the guitar I was using when I wrote every song I ever wrote. It’s the guitar that my dad played every single day. It’s the guitar that delivered my Christmas message, “I love you so much…” It’s the guitar my dad was playing on New Year’s Eve with friends at church his last night on Earth. It’s the guitar he dropped to the floor as he grabbed his head while a brain aneurysm stole his life.
I took out the Red Guitar tonight. I tuned it… I strummed it… And then I heard a rustling noise. It almost sounded like a paper guitar pick rolling around inside the red guitar. Something was inside it. Fluttering about.
I turned it upside down and shook it from side to side until a little slip of paper fell out onto my chest.
I can just see my dad slipping that gift tag into the Red Guitar as a forget-me-not… Playing that guitar all those years with the gift tag inside knowing one day I would find it and feel his love for me long after he was gone.
I love you, Dad…