JANUARY 26, 2013
A DAUGHTER’S MEMORY
I have been a Bee Gees listener all my life. I feel emotional just mentioning their name because they represent my relationship with my Dad. He was a musician, and he admired and revered Barry, Robin and Maurice as outstanding songwriters and performers. He always told me if he could meet any musicians in the world, he would want to meet them. He said it would be the biggest honor of his life. He played the guitar in a rock band in high school and then continued to play as he got older. When he went to college, he studied business instead of music and became a financial analyst. I never really knew what that job entailed, but he made a lot of money, so we had a nice house and I had the best of everything as I grew up. My Grandpa was a lawyer, and I think he had a huge influence on my Dad. He always told Dad to think about paying the bills and providing for his family. I don’t think my Dad was ever happy when he went to work in the morning, but he definitely was happy when he had a guitar in his hand and was performing. I remember coming home from school and sitting with my Dad and singing Bee Gees songs. His great love was music even though that was not his “profession”, and he lived for his gigs on the weekends. He always got the band to play his favorite ballads, and he loved all of them. He’d just shake his head and tell me that Barry Gibb was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant in the way he’d write a melody….simple and pure. I learned to appreciate the beauty of this music when my Dad and I would talk about the songs. He would play a verse and explain the music to me. I would sit in awe when he played the guitar and I’d love to watch his face light up as he’d sing. When he was 48, Dad became ill with pancreatic cancer. He didn’t smoke or have any family history of this disease. It just hit him all of a sudden. There were days that he could barely get out of bed or even speak, so we’d just put on the albums and listen to his favorite songs. I think he owned most of the albums. They were stacked up by the stereo, and I would hold up one and he’d nod his head yes or no. Some days he wanted “Spirits”. Other days he wanted “One”. “Main Course” was a favorite, but I think he liked “Size Isn’t Everything” best. My Mom had a really hard time watching my Dad go downhill and get sicker every day, but I tried to be strong and just listen to the music with him and sing along. As hard as it was, I tried not to cry, and I never got tired of sitting by his bed and putting on the songs he loved to hear. It was six months before he died, and all along we’d share the music. I have memories of him humming songs like “Heart Like Mine” and “Tears”. He wanted “Wish You Were Here” played at his funeral, along with “How Deep Is Your Love”. My Mom and I made sure that his wishes were granted. For weeks after the funeral, I heard from people who expressed their love for the music that was sung by his bandmates. He wanted me to have his record collection, and it sits in my living room next to the stereo. When I play the music, my memories are bittersweet but beautiful. Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb gave Dad the inspiration to be a better musician, and their music just made him happy all the time. I could never thank them enough for all of those moments of joy I experienced with my Father.