Friday, June 17, 2016

Dear Daddy:

It is June 17, 2016, seven years since your songs left my ears. They are all still in my heart, though, the two of us harmonizing and loving our music. So much has happened in these past few years, not just in my life and in your precious Bea’s life, but in the world. I won’t bore you or scare you with all the gory details, but here are some highlights of the last week.

Mark and I are finally preparing for our life-changing move to Florida. This is what you had

hoped for us, but, unfortunately, you will have to view us from above as we splash in our new pool, unpack boxes in our new small home and head to the golf course with our new clubs (which we intend to buy shortly). Your Bea is only 3.5 hours away, and we hope to see her soon. We leave Tuesday, me following the baby car with mine packed to the gills. We are framing it as a new adventure, but we are so so sad to leave our wonderful friends. You always taught me that life is taking risks, so here I go, risk #4,936.

This week, in addition to packing close to 70 boxes, I have had what I feared to be a life-threatening health issue. Fortunately, the test proved mostly positive, so I can move on with our adventure. There have been a myriad of mini-crises concerning the closings of both homes, but they seem to have resolved themselves as well, not without considerable expense, but what can you do? I’m not sick, and that’s all that matters.

There have been three major tragedies in Florida this week, taking over 50 innocent lives from a two-year-old to a massacre in a gay night club. There is so much hatred, Daddy. I can’t explain where or how it has surfaced, but it’s as though we’re back in the 60s dealing with the Civil Rights Movement. You and I talked about how crazy the world has become, and I remember you saying that in your experience as a WW II vet, at least you knew who the enemy was. We don’t. It can be the guy next store who freaks out or some twenty-something who feels left out so he goes and gets radicalized and shoots people for no reason. Needless to say, we feel very vulnerable and powerless, and our country is reacting to those feelings. Our presidential campaign is anything but presidential. Some people talk about our President like he’s a bum on the streets. Regardless of how you feel about the President or what party you are, it seems to me that the office should be respected, but what do I know? 

On the positive side, the sun has been shining, and the birds are twittering. I am enjoying the outpouring of love from dear friends who I will never be able to replace. Tears are beginning to fall, and I feel a tremendous loss. Although this move was not my idea or my dream, I will make it work, and it will be the best move ever. Our friends will visit, and we will make new ones. We will spend more time in nature, and we will visit our Michigan friends who winter there. We will watch our grand-children frolic in our pool, and I will have a great time decorating our little jewel.

I so wish you could have been at my concert last month. There were over 200 people there, and I was very proud of my performance. It was far from perfect, and I didn’t play a lot of flashy pieces like you always wanted me to, but I played from the heart, and I educated and entertained. People seemed to enjoy it, and I am now preparing for the third concert which will hopefully be ready by the beginning of next year. 

Thank you, Daddy, for giving me the courage to take risks, the talent to make music and the humility to appreciate the applause. I love and miss you, but your songs will forever be in my heart.