Dad was a teacher, a band director, and a professional musician. In all of these professions, he was my father. I was always learning in his presence. He gave everything one hundred percent. I hear, in his voice: “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” “Take it with you. If you need it, you’ll have it.” “Do your best.” “Practice right.” “Never look back. Just move forward.” “No regrets.” “Love is the most important thing.”
All of it, important. All of it, useful. All of it, wise.
There were times I was privileged to witness him at his core. Times that planted pride and love in my heart that I can hardly express. One of the things that made my knees weak came very late in life. I was sitting with a now extremely fragile man who was watching the love of his life slip slowly away, due to Alzheimer’s. “I’m not sure how to handle the coming day when I go to her room to kiss her goodnight, and she doesn’t know who I am.” My heart. The conversation was one of the hardest of my life. But also one that showed me he was still, in his elderly and fragile state, my father. As we talked about dark days ahead that could begin any moment, he gave me advice that encompassed all he was: “No matter what happens, remember her love.”
Love takes practice. Practice daily.
Take love with you. If you need it, you’ll have it.
(You’ll need it.)
Thank you, Dad. Thank you.
© Marie Elena Good, 2019