I just came across my biological fathers guitar slide while organizing my art room. 

I hold the slide in my left hand and let the weight of it settle into emotions. I sat still for a moment and let them flow through me. The thoughts began to well up matching the very emotions that pulse through my veins…

1. I remember him being an incredible musician. He filled our house with the sound of his guitar which in turn gave me a deep love of music. I always longed to have my home filled with the sweet breathless notes again.

I find it beautiful that my prayer is answered with a husband who fills the house with his musical talents & passion. 

I smile. 

2. Why in the world did I keep this? He left me and my mom and never looked back. Not only that, he harmed both my mom and I at horrific levels. So why in the world would I keep something of his? 

The only thing I can understand as I hold this slide and feel the cold metal on my skin and the weight of it is that he wasn’t always bad. He taught me my A,B,C’s with the guitar. I knew almost every Beatles song by the time I was 7 years and again, It gave me a heart for music.

I think I keep it to remind me that even in the heartache and pain there are still glimpses of beautiful. 

I settle. 

3. I remember where this slide used to be stored. He had a little wooden box that looked like a treasure chest. I would open it when I was little and see the slide, a few guitar picks, a bag of weed, rolling papers and a lighter. I remember the earthy smell every time I would look in the wooden box. It was normal to me.

I wonder more what became my normal. 

4. My bio-dad died last month. I hate to admit this but I didn’t grieve. I wasn’t sad. It’s not like I was happy he was gone. I know he has a family, wife and children that loved him and hopefully people he hasn’t hurt. 

Yet holding this guitar slide I felt a ping of grief. I had no desire to connect with him even after my Aunt, his sister, called to tell me he was dying. I do not feel guilty for not connecting with him but I’m sad he died without trying to be a father to me. 

It’s complicated.

So I hold this slide with a mix of emotions yet the strongest one I feel is God’s presence. I feel Him sitting beside me with His arm around me speaking words of love, hope and reminding me I am whole. 

I am grateful for the love of music. I am grateful my home is filled with beautiful melodies and songs of my past. 

I am grateful I kept the slide to remind me that my past still has beautiful glimpses of lovely.

I am grateful.