A Dance with my Father.
I was recently watching one of the many signing competitions on T.V. and there was this male performer who gave a gut-wrenching performance of Luther Vandross’ “Dance with my Father.” It brought tears to my eyes, but to be fair I typically cry during sappy insurance commercials. It really got me thinking about and missing my own father and dancing with him.
My first dance with my father
As a little girl I would love to watch my parents dance. With my dad’s 6’4 height, dancing came so easily for him, and watching him expertly lead my mother across the floor was magical. We would always have music on in our house, especially his favorites like Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, his fellow New Jerseyite, Frank Sinatra, and many others. My father was always happy when he had his music playing.
Whenever I thought about getting married it was never the wedding dress I dreamed about. It was the band! This was by and large due to my father’s influence. When it came to choosing the band I knew exactly what I wanted… and what I didn’t want. For starters, I told the band manager who was responsible for putting the play list together that in no uncertain terms did I want to hear: Kool & The Gang’s, “Celebration,” the Macarena, anything by Celine Dion and most important, no Vanilla Ice! So I had two bands: one that played the standards with a singer and five-piece orchestra, and the other that DJd fun wedding dance music while the other band took a rest. It was definitely a party!
For the orchestra portion, I worked directly with the manager to put together a play list filled with many of my dad’s (and my) favorites. And when it came time for the father-daughter dance, and they began to play Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight,” I’m not sure who was more emotional.
We spend so much of our lives wanting this and that and sometimes forgetting to count little blessings along the way. While sadly I’ll never have another dance with him, I’m so fortunate to have had that father-daughter dance at my wedding, and it will be a memory I take with me forever. I only hope I’m around when Jack gets married one day so I can dance with him.
Happy Birthday, Daddy! I hope you’re dancing and celebrating with all your musical friends! I love and miss you everyday. xxoo
“If I could get another chance…another walk…another dance with him, I’d play a song that would never end. How I’d love, love, love to dance with father again.” – Luther Vandross