I was asked why I named my guitar Serenity and my response was empty. I could feel the reason why, but I couldn’t explain it. Finally, after many hours of searching for an answer to that simple question I found what I was looking for.

My childhood was not perfect and I’ve stored away every memory from that time, locked in a box and buried as deep as my mind would allow. I never visit that time, I never had a reason to dig up those memories until now. And even through all of the pain I had endured stands one memory that brings as much joy to my heart as it does pain.

The morning sun peeked through blinds that hung crooked in the basement window, stirring me from my dreams. You were there next to me. You held your guitar so gently, as if it were some fragile part of you that could break too easily and I understood why.

My sleepy eyes would watch your hands as they moved, fingertips brushing against the strings. I reached out to you, placing my finger on one of the strings. I watched for your approval and when that smile spread across your face I felt safe.

The plucked string sent particles of dust dancing in the air, catching the morning light before fading away into the shadows. I felt it, not the vibration of the string, but the sound. Flooding through me, it left a trail of chills in its wake. Your laughter comforted me in the morning. You were happy and smiling, I always try to remember you that way.

“Dad, play me a song,” I’d say, and you’d begin. I can’t remember the song you played, but I won’t forgot the way the music made me feel. That was your apology, the only way you knew to cover up the words you used to hurt me the night before.

You don’t remember what was said and I never wanted you to see yourself that way. I knew it wasn’t you saying those things, you weren’t that person unless you were under the influence of one substance or another.

Forgiveness isn’t always easy, and I know, in time, I’ll be able to fix the parts of me you left so broken. Music is my serenity, if nothing else, at least you left me with that.