The last refrainĀ 

No where in a music score does it tell a listener how to react properly. When you read music as you play it’ll cue your brain to manipulate the instrument that you are playing into crescendos or fortissimo or some other type of expression, but it doesn’t give the listener any cues as to how the music will affect their heart.  It’s up to you the musician to put  passion and voice into the music to make it memorable for the listener. 

He was the former band director of our little school in Iowa, and he passed away in a bike accident a few short days ago. Last night as I sat in the hot gym I sat with  his friends and family as we listened to speeches, scriptures and songs given in honor of a man who devoted his life to the art of making sure the listener listened to the music being played. 

His friend spoke of times they adventured. His oldest daughter spoke of his love for doing small things everyday to master anything.  Love poured out of the lifelong friend who sang “Bourning Cry.” Then there was a band, 40 steller musicians that offered their time and talent to honor the legacy of a man who had touched them in some way. 

I listened to the music played by this all star band made up of former students, colleagues, and lifelong friends and my heart captured a glimpse of deeper things that happen when one gives their time to play in a band. The diligence of practice that must occur. The friendships that form between people who play the same instument. The sheer grit it takes sometimes to get through learning a new song or instrument. And for this band specifically, it was the beauty of many parts making something amazing together to honor a man who knew God consistently, loved his family emmensly, and gave over 30 years of his life to the art of making music in the local school. 

Mr Dahn, you’ll be missed by this community you called home. You’ll be missed by generations of band students you so patiently guided and lead over your years as band director, but most importantly your life will be missed by a whole host of people that you encouraged excellence from simply because your passion for great music was contagious. 


the lack of us.

There was a moment in time when life was full of early morning conversations that made me laugh till I had to get out of bed to pee before I did so in my own bed. And then there was those late night one liner conversations via text because one of us, or perhaps both of us, had taken in too much adult beverages. I’m not sure when it stopped. But it did. img_4873

I miss you.

I miss your wacky way of converting everything I say into a make believe word.

I miss listening to your retched music.

I miss hearing your stories about your family.

I miss laughing at your makeup bag.

I miss long car rides chatting up a storm about everything and anything and I miss the silent times we could just be and know we were ok together.

I miss hearing all your substitutions at a restaurant and  I miss you being on the super short list of my close confidants.

I miss us.

I do realize that life is crazy for each of us, but that’s no excuse to become less than friends on Facebook.

We accomplished great things together and my story isn’t my story without the role you played. You believed in me when I didn’t even think it was possible to carry on. So many times you talked me off the ledge of self destruction. So many times you helped me to clearly see things I hadn’t even glimpsed before. A sounding board for crazy ideas, a partner in dreaming of big and scary goals. You were there always and then,


you weren’t.

Yah, you can bet your swim swoot I miss your presence in my life, but not because I just spilled my red wine and I need your white to get it out. Nope, I’m a big girl now… I use lids.