2018 has been a… significant year. The most significant event was that my Dad died May, 24, 2018. After a difficult few years, he passed away quietly of natural causes. While I could see it coming for some time, when he actually died, I wasn’t quite as prepared for it as I thought would be. It set me back on my heels a fair bit. He was there one day and simply not there the next. I visited him on the day he died. He wasn’t conscious and didn’t give me any indication that he was aware of my presence at all. So, I just talked. I spoke to him for about an hour and I told him thanks for what he’d done for me throughout my life and everything else that I wanted him to know before he left. Most of it I’d told him before in bits and pieces but this was a good chance to summarize. Dad never was very fond of deep conversations so it actually helped in this situation, that he could only listen. Later that evening he died.

After Dad died, I figuratively went into a cave for a bit. Diana would keep an eye on me and chase me out periodically to ride my bike or my motorcycle, my two-wheeled therapy as it were. Working in the ukulele shop was good therapy too but it was quite difficult. Dad was the one who got me interested in building ukes and it was our most shared interest. His presence in the shop was palpable. Now I feel like I’m finally stepping back into the sunshine. I’ve given a lot of things a lot of thought and significantly altered my perspectives on life and living.

So we’re getting back into the workshop. Dad is less of a spirit and more of an inspiration. I recently returned from the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival. It wasn’t a big sales success but I got to reconnect with the ukulele ohana and to gather some focus and energy from them. It was a real rejuvenation just to talk ukuleles and music with so many people, visit with old friends and make new ones. Ukuleles and ukulele people are good for what ails me.

Smile when you play that!