Sunday, September 12, 2010

Music and My Dad

Last night I drove to Costco to buy some meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Costco has some great already prepared foods, and now that we live in Santee, it takes about as much time to drop into Costco as it takes to drop into a grocery store.  (I love Santee for many reasons, and this is one of them.)

On the way home, I listened to A Prairie Home Companion as Garrison Keillor read a "letter" from a 150-year-old Lutheran church in Skandia, Minnesota that valued classical music.  As he read, a piano version of "Onward Christian Soldiers" played in the background.  It seems that the church has been through several music directors in its long history.  He named well-known composers, and as he read, the music adapted to reflect the style of each composer.

When Keillor got to Igor Stravinsky, I laughed out loud, and I thought to myself, my dad would really like this radio sketch.  He would laugh out loud, too.

I don't know if my dad ever listened to A Prairie Home Companion, but I do remember listening to radio dramas with my dad.  He piped music to nearly all the rooms of the house.  He played classical music and folk music and sacred music and quartets and big band.  My dad is the reason I love so many styles of music.  My mom and dad sang harmonies as they went about the day, and so I learned that from my parents.  Some families watch television as a backdrop to their day; we listened to music most of the time, and sometimes radio dramas.

It's sad that I never got to share these kinds of moments with my dad as an adult.  I moved away, and when I called home or visited, I mostly spent time with my mom and my siblings.  I don't really know why, although I have some theories.

In retrospect, I wish I'd pushed a little harder to be a part of my dad's life, on his terms.  We did share book recommendations.  I'm grateful for that.  I wish he'd pushed a little harder to be part of my life, on my terms.  I wish we both tried a little harder.

Sometimes we don't know what we're missing until it's too late.

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