A young boy and his father sat close to me on the 10 bus, my headphones drowning the sound of their voices to just mumbles. In my short observation, I pretended to know what was said between them as the boy pointed out the window & pulled an orange ticket stub from his bag. He asked his father about the plane overhead and when they could go back to London. His father asked if that’s really where he’d like to go, as London will be quite busy this summer with the games in town. The boy exclaimed he wanted to see a real match, Manchester city was his father’s favorite club. He loved what his father taught him and football was no exception.
This duo was a mirror to reflect the moments that I wish I could relive with my father. Late night basketball, my dad always chose to be Larry Bird and I maintained that I was Shaq, regardless of my lack of size or low-post skill. We’d challenge each other to one on one, and I vividly remember the look on his face the first time I won. Basketball was one of the hobbies that I let go of first, my dad continuing to coach the team after I moved on to other things like music and a part-time job. I look back on it now, and I wish I would’ve kept playing, not for me, but to have those extra days and nights with my dad.
The truth is, I just don’t know what I would’ve done without him…he’s always been my lighthouse.
But yet, somehow, you’ve become what I would’ve rendered unfathomable, losing your dad at such a fragile time in life. What would I have done if my father had stopped singing before the song was over? Because it wasn’t over when your father chose to walk out off the stage. There were notes out of key, and a few lines that didn’t rhyme, but he missed it. He missed the chance to teach you to play through the mistakes. He missed the chance to watch you learn and grow and sing and scream and he missed it. Your first date, your first show, your first broken heart, he missed it all.
And your song won’t leave me because I can’t stop thinking about how I just know if he saw you, if he heard you, if you played just one line for him of the melody you’re living, he would’ve joined right in. He would’ve strummed right along.
The pain was too loud, it drowned out the beauty this world can surround us with. The one note misplaced that echoed until it was too much for him to bear.
I know it was years ago, but I think we were made to feel things even at such a distance. I was taught to do whatever I could to understand what others have been through and I can’t change anything in the past. I can say to you, to my family, to my friends and to anyone else who finds their eyes on this page - your song isn’t meant to be over yet. I’m listening, I’m singing, and no count of mistakes will make me quit because the closest thing to a father is a brother.
This is for my friends who bravely share their story, Sam and Maika (respectively). http://www.quora.com/Suicide/What-does-it-feel-like-to-have-a-parent-commit-suicide