Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"your father would be proud..."

i never thought i'd have anyone to say that phrase to me in my lifetime. not to mention more than twice in one month. i went home this passed weekend to witness/celebrate kelsey's (my younger brother's) graduating from high school. it was nice. not too hot. not too long.

we had the usual family gathering afterwards including food that could feed half of my hometown of watlerboro. we had family from out of town to come down and look at pictures and listen to music that i'd made in the passed year and awards my brother had won for literally being "the big man on campus". they made up just an award for him. can you believe it? i could. my brother is so effin' cool its not even funny. much more than i. you don't have to believe me.

my dad was not around for any of this, but everyone made an effort to remind us of that for some reason. it was strange b/c my 'uncle' billy (my father's best friend) said to both of us at one point in the day, "your dad would be real proud of you guys..." and someone else chimed in and added, "he IS proud..." and yadda yadda the choir sang along. it was kind. it was different.

during all the cooking and prepping and hanging out, my mom was running around in the middle of it, being the little engine that could, turning red with determination. after the important things were done and we'd all eaten our fill of meat and beans and salads, my mom escaped the house and sat on the steps of our front porch and just breathed. i joined her and put my arm around her. i asked her in my very concerned-oldest son voice, "hey, lady. how're you doin?"

"hey son." she replied. "i'm alright. its just so hot in that house." and she was right. and so we sat. and breathed. i reminded her that she now had no children left in highschool. and that she would soon have an empty house. and something about how daddy would've probably been cooking on the grill were he around. and that i liked a girl. she smiled and said motherly things.

we had a nice time just sitting. and breathing. and thinking about my dad.


this month makes a full year now that i've been out of school and working as a 'professional' musician. next month will make a full year that i've not had my dad on this earth with me (us).
on this memorial day, i'm remembering my dad. not on purpose either, it just happened as i was listening to randy newman. a song he wrote for his wife called "i miss you" is on repeat as i type this. it fits me just fine this evening.

"you're still in my heart after all these years
separated by time, now by distance
i couldn't allow myself to feel the loss that i feel right now
so i put this song down

you're far away and happy i know
its a little bit late, 20 years or so
its a litle bit cold for all those concerned
that i'd sell my soul and your souls for a song
so i pour my heart out

i miss you, i miss you, i miss you
i'm sorry but i do
i miss you, i miss you, i miss you
i'm sorry but it's true

i wanna thank you for the good years and apologize for the rough ones
you must be laughing yourself sick up there in idaho
but i wanted to write you one before i quit, and this one's it

i miss you, i miss you, i miss you
i wanted you to know
i miss you, i miss you, i miss you
and i still love you so"

-randy newman (i miss you)