Every year I'd ask my Dad “what do you want for: your birthday? ...Fathers day? ...Christmas?” and every season he'd give me the same impossible answers: “to solve world hunger, for world peace, or for everyone to love each other”. Not an easy gift to find, I was routinely stumped and left hoping he would settle for something easier, like maybe chocolates? But I knew Dad's optomistic requests, however fanciful, were genuine.
He was someone who spent his whole life making the world a better place, one smiling face at a time. He was a special education teacher, an avid musician and music lover, an environmentalist, a volunteer in his community, and a wonderful father. For years he'd serenade his students with “the wheels on the bus”, he wrote each of his daughters personalized lullabies, and his various bands performed at all sorts of parties with friends.
Music was an every day part of life for Dad who made up silly songs on the fly. I'll never forget the day I asked him to play something on his guitar for my daughter, his first granddaughter. It could be anything, something simple, but he said no, he couldn't, he just didn't remember how to anymore.
As my dad's health declined rapidly he never lost his sense of humor nor the memories of every concert he'd ever been to, but he lost many other crucial parts of himself. My mom and I hung posters of his favorite bands in his hospital rooms, my sisters brought him various instruments to hold gently in his lap, his tiny granddaughter sang to him one final time, before the last of him was gone.
Today is father's day, but for the first time in my life my dad's not here to dance with, laugh with or to hold his hand. He's not here to ask what gift he might wish for, but I don't need to ask anymore because I know. I dont know how to solve all the world's problems in a single day, but I have the rest of my life to try to follow in his footsteps.
I heard that “He who was generous to those in need will have influence and honor”. That was my dad, he deserves to be not only remembered but honored today by taking his dreams seriously. This father's day I'm going to ask you to join me in honoring someone you love, by taking an achievable step towards making the world a better place, and here's the best part DAD it's through music!
Save The Music partners with local communities and school districts to build sustainable music programs. They donate instruments, music technology and other equipment to jumpstart public school music programs. This is your fathers day gift this year Dad, I hope you like it.