A story of my father.
I love my father and I love him well, I hope to see him someday soon. — Alexi Murdoch “Someday Soon”
The first time I heard Alexi Murdoch, I was hooked. I bought the album Time Without Consequence in 2006 right before we had our first daughter, so that album still brings me back to the delivery room. Toward the Sun was released in 2009, the same year my second daughter was born, so not only did I have a situational connection to his music, but something in his music spoke to me on deep levels.
Themes of faith, family, life, and death, and love flow through his songwriting, which is likely why it was easy to establish connections to those I love through his music. The song quoted above, “Someday Soon”, would always make me think of my dad. I really do love my father and love him well, and miss him quite often.
My dad lived with my brother in California, and we love heading to the West coast for family trips. We would check into the Best Western, and the kids would be in the pool within minutes of arrival, regardless of the weather. Our days would begin with powdered eggs, mini waffles, overcooked sausages, and sugary cereal; you know, everything the body needs to make it through a day at Disneyland.
As great as all of that is, the true joy of the trip would arrive within about an hour of checking in to the hotel when my dad and brother would show up. That was the true draw to drive 500 miles. We’d hug, chat by the pool, go out for dinner, load up on coffee, then play Settlers of Catan until we could hardly keep our eyes open. You had to keep an eye on dad though, as he was always trying to sneak some extra points.
These were good times, and my dad was pleasant to be around. People who show genuine interest in your well being and your story, are people that you want to be around. He was also an encourager who was always up for some coffee and conversation, yet he was also content to just sit without saying anything and be together.
It was a few days before Thanksgiving in 2015, and my dad was going to drive out and stay a few days with us. He called a couple days prior because he was sick, and thought it would be hard to handle the elevation change. Bummer. We had just moved into our new place, and I really wanted him to see it; especially since he helped make it possible. Also, it was strange because he had never let illness keep him from seeing us.
At this point, we were still settling in and unpacking, and we had not yet started any renovation work. We were just enjoying the space, adjusting to the new neighborhood, and excited to have our friends and family come share in the experience. I was looking forward to my dad’s visit because that would really calm me down in the midst of all of the change.
Then, the day before Thanksgiving I got a phone call: “I’m on my way,” he said.
He showed up that night, we played some cards and had some dinner, and my youngest daughter got some good snuggles with grandpa. When I woke up on the morning of Thanksgiving, he was still sitting in the recliner, and he said that he hadn’t slept that night. He had a hard time breathing, so he said goodbye and drove back to California. I made him promise me that he would go see a doctor when he got home.
A couple of weeks later, we were doing some demo in our house to create an “open concept” floorplan. We were trying to get it done before a holiday party we had planned, and while we were sawing down the wall I got a call from dad. He went to the doctor like he said he would, and they had found fluid in his lungs; he also said that he would be going into surgery in a few days. So there I was; knee-deep in drywall dust, unknown, and uncertainty.
“As I dream, I’m falling down. The world moves without a sound. I’m lost as sure as I was found, the sun comes up without a sound.”
The words of that song took on an even deeper meaning for me this time as I drove out West for my dad’s surgery; on the open road, just me and Alexi.
“I love my father and I love him well, I hope to see him someday soon.