If Only I

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Phoenix College
Mill Ave Chamber Players


On January 19th of 2018, my father passed away after a long battle with various ailments. We knew it was coming eventually, but we did not expect for it to happen so soon. I was in the Bronx about to attend a concert of students who wrote their own music as part of a residency I was a part of, and something told me to check my phone. There was an urgent voicemail from my mom, and when I reached her she said that I should get my family ready to come see Papa for the last time, for he would not last more than a day or two. As I helped set up the chairs for the stage, I knew that this was it – yet I was still deciding whether or not to stay for the concert.

Something told me to call again, and she said to”come now.” I drove all the
way out to Long Island, but did not make it in time to say all the things I wanted to say – he died while I was stuck in traffic. The weeks previous were busy and I was sick with the flu, yet I wonder about all the times I could have called…if only I made the time. As a child, I would spend many hours at the piano improvising pieces in order to process how I feel – usually only using the white keys (which is why there are no flats or sharps in this piece). Many thanks to the Mill Ave Chamber Players for commissioning me to write a piece for them, and to Rose French for asking me to write something beautiful.