This I Believe

Katherine - Rochester, New York
Entered on December 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

My dad has a bad habit of leaving his guitar picks all around the house, so almost anywhere you look there is bound to be a small, colored piece of plastic lying amongst the things that actually belong there. He doesn’t have one space he plays his guitar in, he travels around the house with it from room to room, sitting where he pleases, hence the picks all about.

The guitar sits in a corner leaning against the wall between the buffet and a book shelf in the dining room. It’s red with a large black pick guard on the front that shows the remnants of something that was once painted on. The red, yellow, and green specks are scattered about leaving my imagination to recreate what might have been. The strap that hangs from the sides is frayed and partially broken so he doesn’t even bother with it most of the time.

My dad’s music is very important to him. He plays all the time. Playing the guitar is his relaxing when he comes home from work, though it seems a most inopportune time to play. My mom cooks dinner in the kitchen, and just as she calls everyone to come set the table, my dad decides to pick up his guitar and play a new song he heard on the radio while coming home. My mother is, of course, infuriated, but all he has to do is carry the guitar into the kitchen, pick in hand, and serenade her, and she’ll forgive him eventually. No matter how bad a mood she is in, she can’t help but smile at his foolishness.

“Oh, you’re such an idiot,” she always says, “go get the kids for dinner.”

My own appreciation and preference for most of the music that I listen to now comes from my dad and his guitar. I grew up listening to him play all the music that he loved and therefore I came to love it too. Everything from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen, it all came from him. All I needed was him. He was enough. My childhood was spent sitting next to him, looking up and loving him while he played with a pick in his hand. Now I watch from a distance, arms crossed, rolling my eyes at how much he plays and what bad timing he has. Sometimes I secretly wish I was still sitting next to him.

I believe in the power of family. Our relationships with each other are the most important things we have to cherish. Family is who we can count on to share in the things that hurt us and that make us happy. My own relationship with my dad has changed over the years, but I know that even though we’ve diverged on most issues, I can still count on him for the things that matter, like love, support, and guidance. Family is what counts, no matter who you call family.