James Taylor - Like Everyone She Knows

Today was my father’s birthday. There’s so much more to say than what’s written here, but this’ll have to do.

My father has always been an image of warmth, humor, and strength in my life.

He’s worked with his hands most of his life.

Working the earth as a landscaper.
Playing his guitar.
Working as an EMT and volunteer firefighter.
Chopping wood.
Driving his truck.
Fixing things around the house.

When I was little I used to grab his giant, calloused hands and do flips by running up his legs and flipping over.

He sent me this song at a really difficult point in my life. At a point where I felt very hopeless and unsure of my own worth.

I’ve seen my father cry only a few times. Almost every time I feel had a connection to the hearts of his daughters.

Once when I was little, I brought a book home from the library, about a little girl who danced ballet for her father from childhood to adulthood, when she danced for him at his deathbed. (Which is a pretty heavy children’s book now that I think about it.) He cried reading that.

Once while watching the Les Miserables concert, during Fantine’s song, I Dreamed a Dream. I asked him why he was crying, and he said it was because of her heartbreak, and how it happens to so many people.

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

And once, though I wasn’t present to see it, he was trying to explain to my mother the email that he sent me, the one that included the song above, and he couldn’t finish the explanation.

"Hold tight to your heart’s desire, never ever let it go."

The song still reduces me to tears. Partially because I still find myself within that struggle, but also because it’s one of the purest expressions of love I’ve ever received from my father.

Happy Birthday, Dadda.