A belated Happy Father’s Day! My day was jammed packed yesterday, but I didn’t get to see my Dad. I intended to see him, but he called early in the morning to say that he didn’t feel well enough for a visit. His health is failing. He has goes into congestive heart failure quite often and now his heart is not pumping hard enough to allow him to get around. Some days he just sleeps. I had sent him a plant, which arrived Saturday and he was grateful for that.
My father and I never had a great relationship. He was away most of the time when I was little, and when I grew up he and I didn’t really see eye to eye on most things. We are actually totally opposite on major beliefs in life. But he is still my father and I feel obligated to pay attention to him. Needless to say, our conversations are short and to the point. I greatly respect his talent, though. He is the most fantastic pianist you will ever hear. You can hear him playing Chopin in this video I did of him.
I remember when I was young. We had moved to Wilmington DE, where he still lives, because he had gotten a job as the director of the Wilmington Music School. As my mother is a pianist also, we had two grand pianos in our living room. My father would invite people over from the school and they would jam for many hours after dinner. My brother and I could plainly hear them in our rooms, but we would sit on the stairs and listen. It was just much more fun to sit there as we felt we were doing something we weren’t supposed to do. When my parents would have parties at our house, music was always showcased. My dad used to do this thing where he would ask someone to pick out three notes on the piano and then compose something right on the spot. A comedian named Steve Allan used to do that too, but with four notes. People would try to trick him up by picking three notes that were on far parts of the piano, but that didn’t faze him at all.
He doesn’t do much playing any longer. He is 86 but still teaches, although he really has one student left. My step mother has taken over doing the teaching. She is 20 years his junior and still going strong. But my father is nearing the end of his life, and it is sad to see him hanging on and slipping away little by little. It seems as if he has lost the strong will to live that he has always seem to have which allowed him to bounce back every time he had a health setback. I keep waiting for that phone call knowing that when it comes even though I have been expecting it, it will still be a sad day.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.