Me, My Daddy & The Southern Cross

I want to share something that happened a few days ago, but first a few bits of background. 

In case  you aren’t familiar with my Facebook page, for almost a year now I have posted a weekly “Sunday Song”. I explain a bit about why in my FIQ, but it was my first regular thing & it pleases me. On the week or two I’ve skipped it makes me sad when I realize I forgot or worse, when I am just not inspired. 

I love music, and I love talking music. I particularly enjoy how music can be a connection to another time in our lives, or evoke a feeling we might not otherwise understand. We can find a window into another way of life.
Also it is worth noting that I use an old nickname as a pseudonym, so many of my “in real life” friends know about and follow my blog & Facebook page. It so happens that my Daddy is one of them. 
Finally, for those who don’t know, my Dad was in the Coast Guard, and for a portion of that time he went to sea on an icebreaker. Long trips. Eventually he came to view being on the water as something one did as a job, rather than recreation. But occasionally, given the right mood & the right music, he will tell his tales of life at sea. The good ones. The ones with all the joy of being on the water, and under the stars.

Oh – one last thing – When my dad says ” ! ” or ” !! ” it is loosely translated to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. You know, something you say when you don’t know exactly what to say. 🙂

All that said, this is a text conversation I had last Saturday with my Daddy. I have copied it verbatim.
Daddy: I put on a cd while I was puttering in the garage this afternoon. I would suggest “Southern Cross” for your Sunday song! Made me remember when I first heard it, as well as what was so good about going to sea. Such a great song. Love you
Serendipity: Love you too! Thank you for sharing!! I’m assuming the CS&N version? Southern Cross has always reminded me of you, and when you talked about being at sea. 🙂
Daddy: Yep, ❤  (Wow I did it)
Serendipity: LoL 🙂 curious – when did you first hear it?
This Stephen Stills demo version. No chorus harmonies!  Weird:
Daddy: With you, in a bar in Shepherds town. It wasn’t released until sometime in the 80s. But it is one of a couple that just make me remember why I loved it. Not the actual lyrics but the ..mood?
Serendipity: You mean with Mom?
Daddy: I think you were there too. Not sure where or why but I’m pretty sure. You were surprised I didn’t know it.
Serendipity: Yeah, it was released in ’82 & I just read it got lots of MTV airplay. So that makes sense. It’s funny, I was 8, but I’d never have remembered that. It’s one of those songs that feels like I must have been born knowing.
We must have been on a trip to Harper’s Ferry. I remember that trip, I think. We camped? I think my memory is of the John Brown museum. Seeing him drop.
Daddy: And it rained? I don’t recall all the details. That was a while ago.
Serendipity: It was. We probably shouldn’t speak of how long ago. We shall pretend we cannot do the math. 🙂Yes, I think that was the rainy trip. Lots of canasta. Lots of mud. Lots of Jimmy Buffett on the portable tape player. 
Daddy: !
Serendipity: Thank you for texting with me. I know you hate it. The kids are w/o naps & crazy. Phone calls/vid chat seemed… Unwise.
I love you.
In case my earlier description didn’t make it sound happy – my memory of that trip is a very fond one. ❤
Daddy: !!
Want to know a secret? I hesitated even asking Dad when he first heard Southern Cross. He is not fond of texting at all, so it was a crap shoot whether he would reply. But he did. With an utterly unexpected answer.  
That’s why I love this conversation so much that I wanted to share it. Because this was the first time I ever heard about his memory of this song. It never occurred to me to ask, honestly. 
I have always connected Southern Cross to my Dad & have known it reminded him of being at sea. My memories are of him explaining about the constellation and our looking it up in an encyclopedia (remember those?) to see the stars charted & telling stories from under those stars. 
But here is Dad’s memory of the first time he heard the song, and he connects it to me. Me. For entirely different reasons. I won’t lie, it makes me joyously weepy. It’s the sort of detail we don’t often get from a loved one, you know? All those little reminders and happy thoughts that make up the fabric of our love stories. And all our loves have stories, don’t they? 
This is why I love music. 
One song. A conversation starter. 
One song that reminds both my Dad & I of each other. 
One song that now has even more lovely & loving memories intertwined in it’s melody. 


4 thoughts on “Me, My Daddy & The Southern Cross

  1. How beautiful! I love music! I feel like music can sense the atmosphere around you, your mood and if you hit shuffle it plays only the songs you need to hear.

    I love this post. I love it so much!

    I will admit it makes me jealous that I do not have a dad I can share this kind of relationship with! I have my mother though and she gets me!

    Cherish that! It is so wonderfully beautiful!


  2. Fantastic story. I've wanted to take videos of myself asking my parents questions so I'd always have them, but also so my kids would be able to see those conversations, hear their answers and see their personalities. This just reminded me of that. I haven't done it yet.


  3. Pingback: Word. Peace Out, Pops.  | Mother of Serendipity

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