Recently I went to a house concert. The artist, Jack Williams, was one of the finest guitarists I have ever heard. He has been performing for 58 years. At 72 he is amazing. The music was just my style. I was intrigued by his lyrics. The versatility of his music and his creative inner voice that shines made this a special night.
Why did his guitar make me think? After the break he mentioned that people had asked him about his guitar. Unlike many performers who have different guitars for this and that, he has one guitar only. It is his original guitar and is very special to him. In the early days when he was performing, a guy annoyed him by stuffing five $1.00 bills into his guitar while he was trying to perform.
His left brain military father admonished him mercilessly to do something with his life other than music. He would be penniless. Projecting a vision of himself on the street corner with a sign, he left the dollar bills in the guitar for the moment he might be penniless.
Then he shook his guitar and we heard a rattling sound within the guitar. It surely had nothing to do with the dollar bills. Then he described for us the nature of the rattle. It was a bit of the cremains of each of 8 dear friends who had passed on. These dear friends are right next to him every day as he plays guitar. First it struck me as very odd; I got over that pretty quickly.
I have lingered on that thought this morning. That sound in the guitar is a daily reminder of loved ones. It is a wonderful thing for him to have the comfort of his friends so close. I have that with both my Mom and Dad.
My Mom’s last gift to me was a Native American Style sterling silver watch. The actual watch has been changed several times, but the watchband is as beautiful as it ever was. I purposely wear a piece of my Mom’s jewelry nearly every day since she passed away in 1996.
My reminder of my Dad is pretty cool. My sister asked him how we were going to know how he was once he was gone from sight. He replied just as you might have expected Creed Myers to, in song. He sang the song “Every time it rains, it rains, Pennies from Heaven.” Ever since he died my siblings Howard, Jean and Holly and I have retrieved these gifts from Dad. We find them all over the place. I often find grimy ones on the sidewalk or the floor of a convenience store. They are on the floors of cars, and left on counters from mindless people who don’t know their worth. Some of them I pick up with a napkin and wash before I touch.
May you also recall a limerence or an object that makes you remember the good times, perhaps out of nowhere. I keep my pennies close to me and when I pick a new one up I say a thank you to Dad, and sing “Pennies from Heaven”. It lifts my heart.