This was six years ago. It was months before Dad started showing signs of chemo and radiation. We took this photo after a Kathryn the Grape show.
I usually don’t like seeing photos of me during this time frame because I had gained a lot of weight in a short period of time thanks to artificial hormones (that didn’t work, hence my “Three Months” song). It took me a while to adjust and realign my mental health and physical health to be neutral and natural. Then, Dad got more sick and this would be one of the last father/daughter photos I took with him before chemotherapy was apparent.
The other day, as I was on my walk and working out some vocal parts (by way of Megan Nguyen) for my new “A Decent Man” song, this photo kept popping into my mind. I dug into my laptop photo index to find it and bring it forth. With fresh eyes, I see in this photo a man who showed up and was proud of his only daughter. He called me “Mitzy” — his nickname for me.
Dad was busy when I was a growing up, working to feed and house six people. He experienced fulfillment through boy scouting and then years later through men’s ministry at his church and other programs he energized. Those activities didn’t include me but Dad and I were close. He was my go-to person when I was going through hard stuff. I appreciated his practical, compassionate, and direct approach to solutions.
I was interviewed recently about my work and I gave my dad credit for providing me with the awareness of personal development work. It was my dad who introduced me to the law of attraction — but he wouldn’t call it that. He gave me books when I was a teenager that were infused with lessons about how our thoughts, words and actions create our reality. He demonstrated personal transformation and integrity in his life. Dad is the one who introduced me to some music artists that used their songwriting for creating impact and sharing messages of love.
We didn’t agree on some things and that’s okay. I know there were times when he wondered about how I was such a free spirit, but he embraced it and had no questions about my purpose and my gifts. I got him and he got me, a decent man and his Mitzy.