- and when i say 'our' - i mean Dad & I.
There is no question that my love of jazz stems from being immersed in the music of Ella & Louis (amongst others) as i was growing up. I've inherited my love of music from Dad and this is the song that i can hear him singing as he wanders around any one of the houses that i grew up in. It's also the song that i can remember him singing as he dropped me off at school at the start of terms and the end of weekends at home (yes i was 'away at school') which, when you listen to the lyrics makes it an enchanting memory - but, dear reader, Dad's not that kind of sentimentalist, it's far more likely that he was singing it because he loves to sing certain songs rather than giving me a sweet & emotional send off back into a new term!
I haven't heard Dad singing it for some time now - but i hope i will again.
Last September we were stunned by the 'C' word - out of the blue it hit the heart of us (and close to the heart of him). Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. It's a vile disease & the treatment is brutal - truly brutal.
So we are on that rocky road that is well known to so many - the battle against a vile and invasive disease - the one that batters physically, mentally and emotionally & from which there seems to be no respite. It dominates our conversations, our diaries and has changed the shape of us both individually and as a family. But in the midst of this invasion - there is a precious and beautiful dimension - there are weekends together at home - Woody Allen films to giggle at - favourite foods to prepare, pouring love into them every step of the way.
And soon i hope to hear dad singing as he wanders about the house again.
I have no intention of writing an account of living with cancer nearby - but equally i have no intention of writing my life as if it didn't exist. I can, and do, rage against the injustice of it - I am crippled by the thought that when i meet the man i am destined to marry, Dad won't be there, and i'll never hear him make 'that speech'. He's been the single biggest influence in my life and i can't imagine the shape of my world without him.
But i am so thankful that i have a window of love to share with him - a window of weekends together at home - Woody Allen films to giggle at - Favourite foods to prepare - and i have the chance to reshape my hectic life to include more of home in it.
I don't think that i was ever described as a 'Daddy's girl' - we've never shared that kind of enchanted relationship. Along with my love of music I get my strong character, independent streak and my determination from him ... there's a U2 lyric that resonates - from a track that Bono wrote about his Father - "
So this is our song - the bit of jazz that is my precious precious gem & i'm so glad that i've found my very favourite rendition of it to share with you. This is the recording that i grew up on - i swear you can hear Louis Armstrong smiling as he sings.
Listen to it dear ones and may it's gentle beauty warm your heart as much as it warms mine.
A la prochaine x