The Piano Man

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My life is composed of thousands of musical notes.  Each of these notes has been carefully placed in a particular rhythm and tune to make up the moments of my life.  There are musical notes that I have created on my own, and then there are certain musical notes that have been placed in my life’s song by certain influential people in my life. One of the most important people who has placed some this music in my life’s song is my dad.

While I do believe that we grow into ourselves with the decisions we make and through our experiences, we had to start somewhere, right? I’m not really sure if my dad realizes some of the things that he has taught me through the years, and how they have influenced who I am today. I’m not sure I even realized this impact until I really stopped and thought about these parts of me that are very in tune with how my dad also lives his life.  As I thought carefully about my core self, three areas of my life stood out that create a chord that I am sure was placed in my life by my dad.

Three Musical Notes From My Dad

1. Capture The Moments

My parents recently moved out of my childhood house and into a beautiful home that I believe they have been dreaming about for years.  I knew that this day would come eventually, but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about never stepping foot into this house again.  Like any space that has been lived in for 30+ years, this house holds thousands of memories within its walls. The act of taking down a space that I have made home is overwhelming for me, whether it’s a home, an apartment, or even a classroom. Even though I wasn’t physically living in this house any longer, I knew this move would be no exception.

My dad’s eagerness to capture memories on film is what has helped these places and moments live on inside my mind and my heart. When I was growing up, my dad always had the video camera out, and let me tell you … I couldn’t stand that thing!  I did not like to be on camera, and I did not like to have my picture taken; the whole thing just completely embarrassed me to the point at which I would cover my face with my hands and stay quiet, or force a smile. My dad would always say, “You’re going to thank me for taking these one day!” He was absolutely right.

Even throughout the years of hiding my face from his camera, I always carried my own.  I took pictures of everyone and everything growing up.  The day that I was able to retire my disposable camera from the local drug store and own a camera that also took video was a GREAT day!  I still love capturing memories, no matter how small they might be, and these pictures and videos serve as reminders of a life lived! We are always told to live in the present moment, but my dad has taught me that these captured memories of the past remind us of how we became who we are, and also help us to remember the people who were there along the way. I love seeing my parents, my grandparents, old friends, and all of those spaces where my memories were created.

I am so grateful for the videos and pictures that my dad has taken throughout the years (I imagine him reading this right now saying “What did I tell ya?”), and I am so happy that he has passed down this love and passion for capturing memories so that my own can be experienced over and over again forever.

2. Celebrate Good Times (C’mon!)

If you know my dad, you will agree with me when I say that he is an extremely hard working man.  I could probably write an entire post about how hard my dad works on a daily basis. Simply watching my dad throughout the years has taught me so much about picking a career that you are passionate about and giving it your whole heart every day.  My dad works hard because this path motivates him, drives him and excites him, but he also works hard for the people he loves, his family.

My dad has taught me that in this life we have our family and our very close friends, and that is one reality that can never be taken away, despite what is going on in our lives. There is a certain loyalty and trust that should always present, and my dad has shown me that these relationships should be valued, taken care of through good times and bad, and most of all celebrated.  My dad puts just as much passion into celebrating and entertaining as he does into his work, because isn’t that really what life is all about?  Bringing the people you love together, living in that moment, and making unforgettable memories!

We can all acknowledge that this life gets very busy; our family and friends are all living their own lives and taking care of their own responsibilities.  My dad has taught me that when there is an opportunity to get everyone together, take it and make it a momentous occasion! Create an experience that will be remembered in both small details and moving moments. Yes, my dad works hard, but he also celebrates life and creates lasting memories for the people he loves.

3. Allow The Music To Speak

Music has always been a constant in my life.  My dad still has keyboards upon keyboards set up in our basement, and I remember growing up to the vibrations of sound echoing through the walls of our house. I wish that I could remember the first moment that my hands decided to brush the keys of the piano. What was the first note that I played?  Though I can’t recall this moment, what I do know is that with that very first key that I pushed down, a weight was taken off of my shoulders as I allowed the sound to fill my soul.

My dad has played the piano at weddings and at funerals.  He has played during holiday parties, for crowds at dinner, and for our family in the comfort of our home.  He has played under neon lights, and in dark windowless basements. He has played for one person, and he has played for a crowded room.  I understand why music is such a big part of my dad’s life and how he becomes lost in its art and its language.  I understand why he creates it, and why he fills the silence of even the darkest times with melodies and chords.

I saved this “note” for last because my undeniable passion for music is my favorite part of my dad that I was so lucky enough to receive.  Music has made good times great, and it has made dark times bright. Perfect chords and rhythms have helped me disappear when I needed to lose myself, and have brought me back to reality when I was ready to be found. Music has kept me company during some of my loneliest of times, and creating music has lead me to some of my best friends in life. Music is the language of my soul, and I am so grateful that my dad has given me this appreciation and excitement for its evolving art.

My dad is my musical background, encouraging me with his melodies to dance through the days of my life.  To create, to love, and to never stop singing my song.  While I know that my dad has influenced my life’s song in ways that I am not even aware of at this point in my life, I am so grateful for these three musical notes that play on repeat every single day.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, the true Piano Man! Today and every day!

Live out loud,
Stephanie

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40 thoughts on “The Piano Man

  1. I loved this post so much!!! Your dad seems like a wonderful man and I think our dads would have been great friends! Lol! My dad totally loves to take pictures and I was very much the same as you, in my younger years. I would hide my face too! The funny thing is my dad is quite an artist, yet many of his pictures would be horrible in my opinion because they were so impromptu… but he wanted to remember the moments as thy were happening and not in a still life frame or in an arranged photo. I now love this! The other thing I love so much about my dad always having a camera was that he filmed so much of our lives, times with the grandparents and times with our immediate family, that I now have to look back on. He made each of us three kids dvds of all the home movies!!! Definitely something I treasure! And my dad is a pianist also! I remember almost every night my dad sitting down at our baby grand piano and playing! He usually makes things up while he sits in the quiet lightly lit family room! This was something I wanted in a hubby… I would always say “I want a husband that plays piano, so he can play our children to sleep”- and it happened!
    Thanks for sharing! This was a beautiful post!!! Loved it all! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thanks so much, Erin!! Yes, I absolutely LOVE seeing my grandparents on video! It is SO special. It does sound like our dads would definitely get along! How sweet that you wanted to find a husband who also plays piano, and that you and him can share your love for music =) I am so glad that you enjoyed this post! Thank you for sharing such special memories of your own family with me!

  2. Stephanie,
    Beautiful and so true! You are truly blessed to call this man your dad! Loved reading this and yes I was tearing up!

  3. Wow this is really a great story . You seem to have great and seller relationship with your dad. I am touched how he wants to capture every moment. I wish my dad is thesame way. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Mei, thank you so much for you reading =) Yes, I am very happy that we have so many great memories caught on film. I hope you had a great Father’s Day celebrating with your dad!

  4. Stephanie, you are an amazing writer! As I read your post, I thought of all of the videos at family events and play them and laugh. Your dad got all of the notes you talk about from his father. To grandpa, there was always a reason to celebrate and what I cherished about him and your dad, everyone was always welcome. The best times have been the singing and piano…no let me start with the accordion and your dad playing “In da gadda da vida” on live tv! What a fabulous tribute!

    1. Nancy, thank you for all of the great memories in this comment, and for the mention of grandpa =) I can see how dad got many of these traits from grandpa, and I love how you said that, “everyone was always welcome” because that’s how I have always felt too, and still do! I can’t decide which is better, the piano playing or the accordion!! =)=) I don’t know if I have ever seen this “live tv” segment?! Thanks so much for reading, Nancy, and for this heartwarming comment!

  5. Stephanie,
    You’re a very amazing writer! Your dad is every bit as wonderful as you say. I worked for him for 10 years and he taught me a lot about life as well. He may love to celebrate and bring everyone together but his favorite job in life by far is being a father. I’ve seen his face light up when you walk into a room. Same with your brother and mom. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family. I think that’s what gave him the” Michael magic.”
    Even with his work family, he has a way about himself that makes people want to hear him speak,laugh and have fun(even if it was about bricks and mortar,dollars and cents… employee meeting 203).
    Enjoy your time with him. I miss having such an awesome boss.

    1. Thank you so much, Rebecka! I loved reading all of these memories that you had with my dad, and it’s so fun to hear others who have worked for him speak about how he has impacted them in different ways. Thank you for sharing these special moments and thoughts, Rebecka, and thank you for reading! I am sure he will love reading your comments, too =)

  6. I always celebrate the moment, let the music speak and capture the moment. Anytime I am having a bad day or need some motivation I listen to music. I bond with my father over music as well but its classic rock.

    1. I can relate to that, Luci. Music really sends fire to the soul (in a good way!). That is so cool that you and your father enjoy music together. Classic Rock is such a great genre. I’m sure there are so many of those songs that remind you of your dad and bring back great memories =) I hope that you had a wonderful Father’s Day! Thank you so much for stopping by Citrus and Sun and sharing yourself and your dad!

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad! I lost my Dad in 2002, so Father’s Day (and other special days) are difficult for me. But my Dad also inspired my musical interest. We both sang in our church choir together. He sang in a men’s quartet. I also participated in many other musical groups over several years, thanks to my Dad’s influence.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, K. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I’m sure Father’s Day brings back some great memories for you, but I am sure it is also a hard day. I love that you have the memories of you and your dad singing in your church choir together. That is so incredibly special. How amazing that he sang in a quartet! I am always so impressed by singing groups, especially quartets! I am sure he made some wonderful friends participating in groups like this. He sounds like he was very talented and had a love inside of his heart for music, and it definitely sounds like it was passed down to you. How amazing that you can help his memory live on through your love for music. Thank you for reading, K, and for sharing these memories of your dad with me! He sounds like a wonderful man!

  8. What a wonderful tribute. It’s great you both share the same passion for music. When you can’t speak, you can express it a different way. This post made me smile.

    1. You said it perfectly, Pam! This is why I LOVE music so much. I’m so glad that you enjoyed! Thank you for your kind words =)

  9. Wonderful appreciation post for you dad! Sounds like you guys have a tight bond and I loved how you got personal in this blog post and tied it in with the music notes and themes. Xo

    1. Thank you for those sweet words, Hannah! I couldn’t have written this without music being the center! It is a big part of our lives =)

  10. I know exactly how you feel when it comes to the video cameras. I hated having my picture made constantly but looking back I now have so many memories that I’m grateful for because of it.

    1. I feel you, Emily! I am so grateful to have those memories now, even though I look a little grumpy in some of them 😉

  11. This is such a great post! I have to tell you that the way you talked about your Dad taking pictures and video is exactly how I felt when I was little. I still hate getting my picture taken sometimes because the camera seems to highlight all the parts that you don’t want to remember – bad hairday/broken out/extra pounds… But now that I have a daughter, I get it! As the time passes, the things in those photos that we didn’t like at the time seem to disappear and all that’s left are great memories. I’ve tried to keep this in mind for the sake of my daughter so she has a lot of photos to look back at someday.

    1. Yes, I can definitely relate, Trisha! I still have those moments when I don’t like a picture that was taken, but I keep them all and when I look back at the photos, so many memories come flooding back from that moment, and I don’t even see what I was worried about at the time! Your daughter will appreciate all of those photos of her and YOU someday! Keep taking them and making those memories =)

  12. I have always felt a special connection to music… but not just the music 🎶 written by others but the music of the world and inside of me. I love how you use music so integrally in your life 🙂 ❤️

    1. Thank you, Stacie! There is nothing quite like a strong connection with music. I love your mention of “the music of the world and inside of me.” Music comes in all forms if we keep our ears open! Thank you for reading!

    1. Thank you, Bee! I definitely have learned so much from my dad that I enjoy passing along =) Thanks for stopping by Citrus and Sun!

  13. Wow – what a beautiful tribute to your Dad. My husband is a bluegrass musician and he has imbued music in my and our girls’ growing up days. In fact, rather than a dance with her father, my youngest who just got married chose to sing a song with her father playing the banjo – – it had everyone in tears, it was so beautiful! Cherish those memories of your family and the music that ties you together. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Wow, what a special memory, Sylvie! Thank you for sharing! How special that your daughter shares that love for music with her father and they were able to create such an amazing memory together. I am sure that was an emotional moment for everyone present! Thanks so much for reading and for sharing such a personal connection!

  14. I love this post so much. Music means the world to me and speaks to me on a soul-level. I have music for every mood/every event. So any blogger that talks about music is instantly my favorite! <3 I loved this post to your dad. That's so sweet you did that for him! And you did it in such a creative, wonderful way. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Ashley! I appreciate your kind words, and I’m glad to meet another lover of music in the blogging world!

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