About a year ago, my Dad went through a fight with lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) and came out on top. As he was undergoing treatment, I was reflecting one day about the things my Dad had taught me, and two words came to mind: “Say Yes!” It made me smile.
My Dad has never turned down a dream or opportunity because it wasn’t practical or it didn’t seem realistic, or it wasn’t a comfortable idea. He lives the “Dream Big” slogan. Here he is (above) building his dream home with his sons/in-laws in his 50’s. He did most of the labor himself. He had dreamed for years about building a home someday, and he decided he wanted to do it; so he did.
It’s the same reason he has been a cabinet maker, an architect, a bee keeper, a pole vaulting coach, a butcher, a general contractor, and a hundred other things. When the opportunity comes he says, “Why not?” The crazier the opportunity, the more fun it sounds! He is never satisfied with a comfortable, predictable, easy life (hmmm- on second thought he’s probably never tried it!). He loves the feeling that he’s growing, learning and pushing the limits. That makes him feel alive!
As I was looking through pictures today trying to decide which ones best illustrated the idea of “Say Yes,” I found these 4 pictures of my Dad interacting with my oldest son. To me it’s a visual way of my Dad saying, “Come ‘ere and let me show you how fun life can be!”
“Say Yes!” was a fun piece to write because it allowed me to really let loose and explore musically – the message is all about getting outside your comfort zone, after all! It’s the first time I’ve tried putting another instrument in a recording besides piano and voice, so that was a fun way to explore new territory.
One of my favorite parts of this piece is the trills that the violin does, both in the middle of the piece (symbolizing the opportunity that is peeking around the corner) and at the end (we get one more “look” at the opportunity before the end). I like the way this piece makes me feel more open and curious about the possibilities of life ahead. It leaves a question mark in the listener’s mind at the end- “What is your opportunity and are you going to run and grab it?”
As Dad pushes the limits and gets outside of his comfort zone, he inspires me (and everyone else around him!) to “Say Yes!” too.
Merry Christmas, Dad!
(Click on the link below to hear the recording:)