Dad remains that special person who lived, laughed and loved greatly. I regret that I gave him so many problems in my rebellious teenage years. I never realized I was “that” bad, until I was unreservedly informed by my sisters. Even so, Dad never stopped loving or worrying about me; he just didn’t know how to handle me. As a renowned psychiatrist, he gave lectures on how to raise teenagers; but in truth, he was pulling his hair out… whispering under his breath; what am I supposed to say? His solution was to let me go and let me get on with my life —and my mistakes. It was the hardest and the best thing he did for me. I wrote the song, Thanks Dad, in honor of his sacrificial love for me. Kids take a long time to grow up… but finally, we “get it.”
All the parents along our road, county road 24, mostly relatives, pretty much “acted” the same as us kids. I would describe them as grown-up children. They had sleepovers (though it was always for some “good” reason), where they all stretched out together on the floor in sleeping bags. That happened when they were doing a gig with their band somewhere and needed a sleeping area. They played, camped together, cooked together, swam, boated, hiked together, and did it all with us kids.
The thing they loved most was singing and playing their instruments. They were known as the “Eleventh Hour.” Depending on the song, they would dress up in different costumes and sing with hilarious accents so that even they could barely understand each other and would end in uncontrollable fits of laughter. They had to practice those songs a lot if they were actually going to preform them, which they did. They were all very crafty, and even made their own instruments from wood, metal, or whatever they found or dug up. They had guitars, a homemade standing bass violin, mandolin, ukuleles, bongos, home-made auto-harp, kazoos, harmonicas, shakers, recorders, a banjo, even a washboard and a real harp! Some people think that sitting around in heaven on clouds playing harps sounds boring, but my family would have a great time doing it. My Aunt Katy made puppets that would sit on her knees and dance to the songs. Uncle Spike, was the initiator of the whole thing; a very dedicated guitar player. Dad’s specialty was the harmonica and singing tenor, which he bellowed out operatic style. He had a harmonica from Germany with eight different keys that looked like a corncob. Mom played the mandolin and recorder and all sang. There was so much crazy happiness!
The 2nd song attached is a must listen, a live performance; if you think you knew my dad, or want to know my dad… this is a mighty fine introduction to him. Dad begins in his strong tenor voice, and then Uncle Alden brings in the party spirit via his shocking soprano (quite the scandalous pair).
Thank you for being good to me, for all the things I couldn’t see
Know I didn’t do the same, but your sorrow became my gain.
I thought I was the one who knew best what was good for me
You said the choice was mine to make I’d have to face that I am free…
To make my choices, free to know and see.
Everything before me, good and bad alike
Every choice I make I make to state that truth of life
I cannot blame parents any people or circumstance
It’s God’s gift in all of us…. Freedom!
I never asked you for wealth, just wanted you to be proud of me
I never asked you to do so much
Just wanted all your love, and that you gave me,
Though hurt and pain dug deep, you always cared and waited patiently for me.
Sacrificial love, means so much to me
Sacrificial love, sets the captives free
Sacrificial love, a choice not just for me,
With all my heart I thank you, God. With all my heart I thank you, Dad
With every breath and every step I make I thank you, Lord. धन्यवाद
And so, after all the wonderful sacrificial love, and the tenderness and brokenness which I’ve described exhibited in my dad, this song reveals the truth; he was also, undoubtedly human.