A Song For My Father, Edward Vincent Jennings 12/1/1927 – 8/23/2008
Bono embodied for me as an Irish Catholic son who loved and respected his father, how that relationship is defined in words and song, Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own:
You don’t have to put up a fight
You don’t have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight
Listen to me now
I need to let you know
You don’t have to go it alone
And it’s you when I look in the mirror
And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone
Sometimes you can’t make it on your own
We fight all the time
You and I… that’s alright
We’re the same soul
My father taught my brother and me how tough he really was when he fought and withstood his illness. He placed pain and suffering out of reach as he battled to stay with us. I wanted to take some of those punches for him. But he was always being the tough guy and as a father myself I began to understand and accept his bravery as his time drew near. How he put up a fight was one of many lessons my father taught me over the years.
My father was the one who provided me an avenue to music for which I am very grateful to this day. When I was in second grade in elementary school I wanted to play the violin. My father had a violin his father had given him; he loved to show it to me in its velvet lined case. At first he was reluctant to let me have it. He didn’t think I was serious about playing. But when he saw my desire was real he took the violin to the local music shop, had it repaired and restrung.
I loved that I had my very own violin to learn and practice the lessons in the A Tune A Day For Violin sheet music book for two years in elementary school. I did turn out not to be serious about furthering my violin abilities, but I was given the seed corn of music performance that was planted in my heart and has been nurtured in me every day since.
This eulogy is A Song For My Father for the music he furthered in my heart is a result of his sharing that gift of music with me. It’s a comfort to my brother and I that our father has gone to heaven, to be with our mother and other family members we have lost over the years. Our father goes to prepare a place for us at a very special concert. I know he’s waiting with that violin for me to play in the angel chorus as a tune one day. I’ll be happy to play it for him and all who will listen. After all we’re the same soul both in this life and the next.