Dear Dad – Letter Two

Dear Dad,

For the past 10 months, I have been listening to Elton John almost constantly. I even stumbled upon an album of “Lullaby Renditions of Elton John” and had to buy it for Pookie. When I listen to Elton John, especially “Your Song,” “Levon,” “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” and “High Flying Bird,” I’m of course filled with thoughts of you. Some of my clearest memories as a child are of us driving around in Kenner, Louisiana singing along to “Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume 1.” Back then I remember really liking the bouncy beat of “Honky Cat,” and I’m pretty sure that my made-up lyrics to “Bennie and the Jets” date back to that time. Of course it’s “Your Song” that really gets me, which is why I chose it for our father-daughter dance at our wedding. Even though, with all of your injuries, you hardly moved at all, everyone said how touching our “dance” was. We looked into each other’s eyes as we sang along, knowing every word, every note, every sound of this perfect love song like the backs of our hands. It was such a beautiful moment that I cherish and so wish we could relive.

“Your Song” was also yours and my mom’s song at your wedding, which of course made me think twice before choosing it. Recycling it felt kind of strange and wrong, like I was stealing it from my parents. And because your marriage was not exactly the most successful of marriages, I wondered, in your superstitious fashion, if this would doom my marriage. But somehow I just couldn’t get around it. Plus, RR and I had our own song, “When You’re Smilin’,'” and our story would of course be different. Dad, I need my family’s story to be different.

Regardless, I’m hoping to foster a love of Elton John (and of course Bob Dylan) in my little munchkin. I know that I feel close to you when I listen to Elton, so I feel like if Pookie gets into Elton, he’ll have some kind of a connection to you.

By the way, I’m missing you so very much right now.