Tracy Grammer’s song, “Good Life,” runs through my head. Could be because nearly every time I get in my car without Wil, I turn on the CD player and press 7. Before I knew she’d written the song about her dad, it spoke to me.
Our fathers’ stories are different. Her father was 20 when she came along, mine, twice that. Her father dreamed of a one-level ranch, fishing with the dogs, a quiet, country life. I guess I'll never quite know of what my dad dreamed. Twenty-two years ago today, he left the physical world as a mystery, and remains one today.
Eventually, her father got “sober as a mountain and his river turned cool.” I am not sure how sober my father ever got, or how cool his river ever became.
Her father called her up and they “cried themselves clear.” I don’t think it was within my father’s capabilities to do so. I don’t know that it was within mine, to cry myself clear during the time he was alive, even if he’d tried. Chicken or the egg?
What strikes me most about the song, is Tracy’s ability to write it from his perspective. There is such love, understanding, and healing that comes through in her lyrics and voice. “It’s forgiveness and grace and I wish you were here.”
“Let it all go now and wipe it all clean, ain’t no time for regret in the great in-between, it was a hell of a ride and I wish I had known, you can worry, you can wander, but we’re all just goin’ home.”
My father worried. He wandered. I hope he is in the great in-between, free from both. I hope he feels it was a hell of a ride. I hope that he knows that although we didn’t cry ourselves clean on the phone or in person, or even with actual tears, the process took place. Bit by bit, year by year, memory by memory, wiped clear. No regret. Just love.