By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
I brought my dad National Geographic magazine to the hospital to cheer him up.
I’m holding one issue of this magazine right now. Such vivid photos and colorful stories. It’s like watching a documentary about nature.
My dad loved films about nature. He was an artist and artists constantly find inspiration from the natural world. Of course this time he was too weak to enjoy it.
I never cancel my organ recitals but this time I was glad I did. Ausra recommended I cancel it and go visit my dad because this might be the last chance for us to meet while he’s conscious.
He died of cancer exactly 5 years ago today. He was very kind to me. He would read me books out loud when I was a kid.
One Japanese children book, translated into Lithuanian about a boy who went to kindergarten made all kinds of troubles to the teacher, other boys and girls was the most entertaining to listen to him read. To the point that I still like to page through this book after decades.
His name was just like mine, Vidas. I liked my dad’s voice when he read. It was at the same time both calm and entertaining. When he found out he had cancer it was already probably too late.
He kept going to his workshop to paint until about 2 months before he died. He did it for more than 40 years. Almost without missing a day. His motto was "No Day Without a Line".
Here's an improvisation recital "Circle of Life" on the organ I played based on his paintings.
So the last months when he was alive were very hard for all of us to watch him. To know that the time is passing fast and the day is drawing near when he’ll leave us. It’s very painful to watch your loved one fade away.
Nothing can compare to the pain I experienced that time when my dad said, “I love you.” With tears I said, “I love you too.” I knew this might have been one of the last times my dad was conscious.
But deep inside I know to this day that things I do would make my dad insanely proud.
Go live your life to the fullest. Make your dad proud.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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