I love music. There are times when I find myself wrestling with anxiety, sorrow, or frustration, and I can find comfort in music. Sometimes I can’t find words to express feelings that I have, and then I’ll hear a song that says it for me. Maybe there are no words to that song, but the melody whispers to my soul and releases me.
Music also helps me connect to those I care for.
My oldest daughter, Stevie Rae, and I have had a distance develop between us. She was raised to be a strong and independent thinker, and I admire the woman she has become. My son-in-law is a great husband to her and a wonderful father to my granddaughters. She has built a life that doesn’t often include me, and while I am proud of her independence, sometimes I miss the little girl who believed I was her hero.
We share a love for Gordon Lightfoot’s music, and a few days ago she sent a message: “Dad, There’s going to be a Gordon Lightfoot concert in March. Do you want to go?”
Within a few hours, I had tickets to the concert and had booked my flight to Seattle.
When I was in high school, one of my best friends introduced me to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s music. “You’ve got to hear this song,” he said. “It reminds me of you!”
The song was “Don Quixote”, and every time I listen to the words, I remember Cary’s smile as he watched the expression on my face the first time I heard it. In some ways, that song not only described the person I was then, but was prophetic of the man I have become.
My daughters were all exposed to Gordon Lightfoot’s music as they were growing up, but Stevie was the one who really enjoyed and appreciated it. Together, we collected every album and song we could get our hands on. Some we memorized and would sing together as we went on walks or long drives.
We moved to Oregon when Stevie was in the second grade, and she was unhappy about leaving her friends and the home she was used to. Fortunately, her second grade teacher sang and played the guitar for his students, and on the first day of class, he played one of Gordon Lightfoot’s songs. Stevie felt she had found a home.
Later that year, her teacher announced that he had flown to Canada for a Gordon Lightfoot concert, and after class, Stevie really chewed him out. “My dad really loves Gordaon Lightfoot. Why didn’t you invite him to go, too!” Her teacher called and apologized to me!
A few years later, we were living in Washington State, and Stevie and I were able to go to our first Gordon Lightfoot concert together. The music was beautiful, the concert was great, but the connection was the best part of it all.
When I decided to move back to Colorado, Stevie felt like I had abandoned her. She wasn’t happy with other personal choices I’ve made in my life, and she has forgotten that those are my choices to make.
But when I said I would be there for the concert, we began to talk more.
I love music!