I remember how I was aimlessly plunking the keys when an old man came in to play.
I remember when, two months earlier, Dad told me he didn’t have much time left.
I remember how he made a point of telling me that there was one particular song he wished to be remembered by.
I remember how he referred to it as my song.
I remember the curiosity of this moment, as he had never so much as hummed a bar of my song in my presence.
I remember how non-musically inclined he was.
I remember how he hardly ever called me “Dan."
I remember how the news hollowed me with fear.
I remember the new He-Man figure Dad gave me when I was in the hospital eleven years earlier.
I remember how that piano was a cheering distraction from what was mounting down the hall.
I remember that I was just beginning to figure out how piano playing works.
I remember watching the old man start into a seasoned rendition of a song he knew from memory.
I remember leaving the room before he was done, but I don’t remember why.
I remember that twenty minutes later I was at the foot of Dad’s bed watching him give his last breath.
I remember Dad’s love of all things Irish.
I remember the old man’s pitch-perfect intro.
I remember the uncanny moment and the familiar emerald air.
I remember the gentle cadence.
I remember wondering if the old man had any idea who that song belonged to.
|Wayne Thies, March 18, 1945 - April 4, 1995|