A Change is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

samcookeMy dad loved r&b on the radio. I didn’t hear this song from him, but it reminds me of him quite a bit. I can’t say for sure that I have the complete story on him or that I can know and vouch for everything I know and feel about him, but he had a rough time in life. If you’re a dick, you’ll say he brought it on himself, and though he was never quick to explain how he got to be an alcoholic (his father, the military), he accepted his role. When I see movies or read stories where a character claims his/her parents didn’t care, I don’t think that about my father, despite his absence. I believe him. I believe what my mom told me, too. He was sick. He needed help and had to be away. When I got diagnosed with cancer he came around again, but he was still the same man. There are plenty of songs about alcoholism, though. This isn’t one of them, but it is about a change. My dad changed late in his life. He got off drinking, went to meetings, sponsored others trying to change. Then he died. Though we always thought drinking would kill him– through an accident or physical damage– smoking actually caught up with him. For his whole life, I think my dad was banking on a change coming along. He had a lot of schemes (I helped him build saw horses that we’d sell by the road; he raised chickens in his back yard), but that big change just never came along. Once it did, his time was up. I can’t help but feel anxiety when I think of that. When’s my big change coming? Would he shake me and tell me to move my ass? Or is being lost in life not nearly as bad as being an alcoholic? Would he shake me and tell me to calm the hell down? I don’t know, but I do miss him. Older, I think I’d appreciate his wisdom more and he’d be much happier to dish it out.

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