Beyond the Sea: Playlist Tribute to My Father

It’s been a rough month and a month of celebration at the same time. Besides losing Skipper, our 18-year-old cat who was more son than pet, my father passed away this week, exactly two weeks after Skipper.

Some of you know the story. After I met him as an adult, I wrote about it in Myths of the Fatherless, to share some of the epiphanies I had had after that experience. That biological fathers matter in a special way that no step father, no matter how special, can.

On the fiction front, I also wrote Letters on Balboa Island. He absolutely loved it. Maybe because he saw himself in the lead character, Rick. Rightly so, as I imagined him as I wrote the novel.

My heart is breaking in so many ways but mostly because I just didn’t have enough time with him. But I will cherish the memories I do have and the connection we had as father/daughter, the things we loved, like music (especially Jazz, crooners like Sinatra), fine dining, wine, seeing the world through a romantic lens and Las Vegas, where you can/could experience all of the above.

He was definitely larger than life and he will be missed by many.

John Holmes, 1933-2018

The songs in this playlist are songs that come to mind as I remember him, as I rejoice in our good-bye hug when he pulled me close as I started to pull away and he held me tighter, and for the father/daughter dance I play in my head as I feel a Heavenly dance when he reaches out to me with a promise of things to come.

I will always treasure his words, “I’ll always have San Francisco,” where my parents honeymooned before he was shipped overseas and where I lived for 23 years. So, of course, I wrap up this playlist with Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”