Now that I’ve reclaimed my sacred space, writing fiction and music in my casita, I sip my morning coffee and play a curated Jazz playlist on YouTube Music with a photo of my dad standing in the background. I feel his presence and it comforts me.

Working on my music will have to wait, because my ears are for sharing Jazz with my dad. Jazz was his music. Listening to the Diana Krall album I shared with him, he said, “I’m in love!” Always a romantic, that was my dad.

He read everything I wrote (even if it wasn’t exactly his genre), and he said to me, “Keep writing. You must fulfill your destiny.” So I am torn as I juggle both music and writing, but I can’t leave either behind. So I go with the muse. Today feels like a writing day.

At a time like this, when the whole world is stressed about this current situation, it’s good to remind ourselves of other tough times we’ve lived through. And if you’re young enough that this is your first tough time, well, know this, that you will later recall how you got through this and it will help you undergo whatever you need to get through in your future.

For me, one of the toughest things was growing up without my dad, being told my step dad was my dad, and later discovering he (dad) wasn’t the bad guy, and he (step dad) wasn’t the hero she tried to make him out to be. During my search for my father, I uncovered secrets and why they purposely kept my dad (and his family) out of my life. Part of the story was told in Myths of the Fatherless, but I’ve been thinking about revisiting the story and telling the whole story.

My dad is gone now, but I’m thankful for the time we had together. This photo is the gift I was given after he was gone.