Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Music Man

To say that my dad, Bernard Parenteau was an incredible musician would be an understatement. That man had some serious skills musically. He lived for music; to sing it, to write it, to play it. In fact I can honestly say that my dad was a better musician than a father and not actually feel badly about it anymore. He seriously loved it that much.
 After he passed, my siblings and I were in his garage going through some of his things. We came across his tape collection. He used to keep them in this goofy, eighties looking plastic briefcase. Inside were quite a few memorable albums; the soundtrack of our childhood. Copperhead Road, to name one.. Our parents split when I was under two years old. So a lot of my early memories of my dad are of us driving in his car. He would pick us up and take us to wherever he was living at the time.

  One tape was a mixed tape and it had songs from one of his old bands. I mean, his first band most likely. We tried to figure it out and I believe we decided that he was probably nineteen on the tape. Talk about young! My brother kept the tapes and I'm sure he listens to them all of the time. He's a big fan of music and really, really listening to it. Most phone calls I'm on the other end, listening to a song he wants me to hear. "And really listen to it Hay.. Really listen to this one part..."
 My dad has been in love with music since he was a kid. I don't think he was a very confident child and I have no idea what made him that way. He was the youngest boy of seven and his older brothers were tough on him, I think. I also think that his parents weren't in love and that there was a hardness in their household. A distance that never lifted. That he carried over in his own family life.. I think that music was his outlet. It was his way of expressing himself and not only did he love to do it, he was actually pretty damn good at it too.
 My dad played the hell out of the guitar. He also had an amazing voice. He was in numerous bands all throughout his life. He played the drums, the mandolin, electric guitar and bass and a banjo. I'm sure I'm forgetting an instrument here and there, but I think I'm painting the picture. He was talented.
 He has been gone for three years now and I feel badly in admitting that I don't think of him as often as I could or should. But when I do think of him it isn't with resentment or that sad sense of loss. Not the loss of him but the loss of us. What we didn't get to resolve while he was still here.
 I think of him and what he had missing in his own life. I think he was relatively happy because he was the kind of person who did what he wanted, always. He focused on his passion for music and not so much his children or working towards a career. Again, it has taken me years to get passed all of these facts but I am now at a point where I'm okay with it all.
 When I sat at his memorial service, surrounded by quite a few people that admired and respected him I was resentful. His church honoured my dad. The young kids in his church band looked up to him like a father. I resented that because he was supposed to be my father, not theirs. I should have been able to share all of those recent stories of the time when he did this.. or the time he did that.. But I couldn't. Our relationship was never like that..
 The point of my post today was supposed to be about music. Not about my relationship with my dad. That always seems to happen to me... I suppose I have much more healing to do than I would like to admit. Writing this post is proof of that and all of the feelings I am having. I wanted to share that my dad was a musical genius. I'm not even exaggerating and I don't even feel like explaining why. He just was. He was that great.. I think it's because it was what he lived for. The one constant in his life.. His guitar was always there for him. He didn't disappoint it when he couldn't play it for a few days... Being a musician wasn't expected of him.. He just was one.
 Music didn't happen to my dad.. My dad happened to music..


Lisa-Jade said...

This is a really beautiful and emotion-filled post. I won't use the word 'emotional', some tend to take it in the wrong context of being emo and sad and all dramatic.
Anyways, healing is a process and I think that you're doing really well, coming to terms with the disappointments of the kind of father he was versus the kind of father you expected him to be.
It all takes time and it has only been three years since he passed, not a long time at all.
The one thing you can be grateful for is that he showed you the kind of father you don't want for your daughter and future children.

Haley said...

It's funny.. I wrote the post and was completely honest with myself. I saved it in my drafts and went on a search for relative pictures I could post. The other day I found a cd in my underwear drawer with my dad's name on it. I thought it was a copy of the presentation from his memorial. So I watched it, and it was actually video footage of this goofy talent show they did through his church. Like I mentioned he was very talented and was basically the main attraction in all of the song skits. Ex: Roy Orbison performing Pretty Woman or Buddy Holly -Peggy Sue. The skits conveyed his raw talent but also his goofy, funny personality. I read my post again and felt guilty for not having mentioned that about him.. one of his best qualities actually.
So yes, I will agree that I am very thankful that Alina will not have the same issues I had. Her dad is pretty amazing, especially when it comes to her and myself. We are very lucky that he's the main man in both of our lives.
Thanks for reading and for your kind words, Lisa Jade!
PS. I sent this to you, and then realized that you are a NoREPLY blogger- which means.. you didn't get this message. That's why it's SO BIG! Thought it was going to your email address;)

Noor said...

Just by reading it , I'm just thinking about it all over. I know that you sing and I am sure that you have awesome voice by your dad's side.
It happens with parental relations sometimes, but I feel good with the fact that he was happy with what he chose. You're an honest person :)♥
PS: repoting from tablet , I hope it doesnt screw anything.

Sam Ferrara said...

It happens with parental relations sometimes, but I feel good with the fact that he was happy with what he chose. You're an honest person :)♥ http://www.iphone5-contract.co.uk

Lisa-Jade said...

I'm not really sure how to change the whole noreply thing?

I'm really happy that your issues with your father didn't stop you from putting your trust and confidence in your hubby. I'm sure you struggled with it when you were younger. I commend you on that Haley :)

Haley said...

I was a no reply blogger too. You can change it just by adding your email address into your blogger settings. I googled how to fix it and it was super easy:)
Thank you..! I've certainly learned a lot over the years.

Lisa-Jade said...

Thanks for the help :)

Areeba said...

I'm amused to read this, title justifies with him. He sounds a great man who really had a passion to deal with. I'm sorry that he missed a little part of being a best dad for you.
Seriously, sometimes kids want more from their dads. My parents were also split when I was 11. I'm glad my step dad does everything that my biological didn't do for us.

Sarah said...

I love this. It's a very honest and moving tribute. I think it's wonderful that you guys have your dad's music, his art, as a way to know him, since you didn't get to have a "traditional" relationship. I am not at all close to my biological father (I was raised by my stepfather) and in fact have given up on that relationship altogether. But it would still be nice to know more about him, his feelings, etc. The line where you wrote about your brother telling you to really listen to the music - that was some nice writing. It gave me chills.