I opened my father’s gift of song this morning

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Thoughts of my dad keep bubbling up this morning. First on NPR and then CBS Sunday Morning.

Not thoughts, actually. Musical notes. Humming.

That Bing Crosby parum-pa-pa-pum that feels like a warm blanket.

The NPR story was about a home for the elderly. I just caught the end. An old man was asked to sing “White Christmas” at Christmas morning breakfast. His voice sounded so much like my father’s voice, that I cried as I drove home from spin class.

Warm and true and not quite hitting the high notes. Instead of going home, I drove around until the story ended. I thought that was my message from the cosmos – a reminder of song that once was almost a daily part of my life.

Then I got home and turned on the TV to catch the last half hour of my favorite program – CBS Sunday Morning. That’s when I realized the cosmos was not done with me. The story was about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – little stories about the singers and their love of music.

Again, I was in tears. My earliest memories of my father was his singing – whether in the choir or sitting in the pew with us. Driving in the car. Working in the basement.

As my siblings and I got older, and it was harder to get us out of bed in the morning, he would put a record on the stereo turntable and crank up the sound and sing along to wake us up.

And my last memories of him are of singing, too. My mother died a few years before my father, so he lived in the house in town for about two years before he moved in with my sister and then to the nursing home.

When I visited, I woke in the morning to his singing in the basement, where he took his shower. He would put an audio tape into his old cassette player and sing along, and the sound worked its way through the whole house. It always made me smile.

So, the old man’s voice on the radio this morning instantly brought me back there. It was a gift wrapped inside the songs of the past.

“… Just like the ones I used to know.”

Thank you, cosmos. Thank you, Dad.

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14 thoughts on “I opened my father’s gift of song this morning

  1. Thank you for your wonderful words and memories. My collection of Christmas music is a lot of big band, Bing and Andy. In other words, what we listened to a home. The weekend after Christmas last year was the last time we got to visit with Dad.

  2. Thank you for this beautifully written memory. This season has been one when some random trigger sets me into tears. I wonder sometimes if I will ever recover. I imagine that I will. Time heals all. I’m sure that will be the same for both of us. Thanks for the memories.

  3. We miss your dad so much here in Marcus – in church, at the Historical Society, and so many other places. He was such a special guy “by golly”!

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