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The legend of my father started long before I was born.
He died when I was six years old, and even now, 14 years later, his notes remain embedded in the memories and hearts of the musicians and fans he touched.
I was born with the music in me, it was almost like I instinctually sang. I remember being with my dad and watching him play his guitar and closing my eyes, dreaming that one day I, too, would be on the stage singing to the music. Shortly after his death, I became desperate to learn to play the guitar.
I don’t know if it was because it reminded me of him, or I wanted to be like him. All I know is the guitar seemed incredibly important to me, then.
It was Christmas season, and like all families do, my mother and I went to the mall to meet Santa. I told Santa the only thing I wanted for Christmas was to have my daddy back and, looking back, can only imagine how he and my mom felt. At six years old, I had lost so much, so tragically, yet had all the faith in the world that everything was going to be fine.
My mother tried to explain to me that Santa could not make my dad come back, but trying to get a six year old to grasp the concept of death is impossible, and I told her that if I believe in God and Santa, that anything can happen and they could just do CPR on him.
Which may be how I lost all my faith in medicine and God.
My mom finally convinced me to look around the mall for something else Santa could bring me, and we ended up in a music store. The second we walked in I spotted a “my-size” guitar, hanging up high. It was perfect, it had pretty black and blue butterflies around the sound hole.
My mother informed me that she was unable to afford it and I would have to ask Santa. Somehow, Santa managed to bring me that exact guitar, maybe thanks to a short visit with my mom.
Just days after getting the guitar, I had a friend over, playing. Another Christmas present I received that year was a gold vanity set. Freshly built and empty, I returned to the vanity set and spotted a small white thing. I reached back and grabbed it, observing it closely to find its purpose.
It was a guitar pick and on the front it read, “Ball Busters.” I asked my mom about it, and she showed a sense of shock.
“Where did you get this?” She stood before me, shocked and confused. This pick had never been in our home, we moved their before my dad died and there’s no way it could have just showed up.
“I found it on my vanity, did you put it there?”
Learning the pick belonged to my dad made it even more special to me and I always felt a sense of connectedness with him, because of it. Every time I misplace it, it comes back again.
We moved to a new house, I was sure it had been lost. As a nine year old, I wasn’t very responsible and had misplaced it. Months after moving in, I found the pick laying mysteriously on my bed. Over eight years it was lost and found again, which could have been a miraculous accident.
Before moving across the country, I purposely placed the precious pick inside an old jewelry box. Once I arrived at my new home, I realized I had left that jewelry box behind, at it was gone. I grieved for a short time, finally coming to terms with the fact that the pick was gone.
Months after getting settled in, when all was unpacked and undisturbed, I got the urge to download some country music songs. You’d be surprised how you miss something, even country music, in today’s form, and need a reminder of home. So, I downloaded an assortment of songs by a group called Diamond Rio, because I knew I liked a few of their songs.
Deciding to sweep and mop, I put the songs on a play list and clicked “random”.
Within minutes, I was struck by a song I was unfamiliar with.
Every now and then, soft as breath upon my skin –
At this exact moment the pick, out of nowhere – 800 miles away from where it had been lost, once again appeared there to let me know my father was with me.
I feel you come back again, and it’s like you haven’t been
Gone a moment from my side, like the tears were never cried.
There are more than angels watching over me
I believe, I believe
And, I believe.
First half of the story: /viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976784875
Song: I Believe
Artist: Diamond Rio
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