Song for my Father-in-Law: Don’t Have to Hide
My father-in-law was a tough cookie. He could also be sweet and melty if you got a glimpse of his inside. But, often, he was intimidating with his thick Greek accent, sharp edges and bark. His gruffness was not surprising given the stories he had told us about his rough beginnings. When he was five, the Germans invaded his sleepy town in Chania, Crete–it was World War II. The Germans went through the Cretan villages seeking out Greek men to murder for resisting their takeover. My father-in-law remembered the German soldiers barging into his house looking for his father. He remembered almost giving away his father’s hiding spot behind their barn door. He remembered crawling under his own bed to hide. All these terrifying moments layered a protective rind around his heart. And, not until his final days, did we have a chance to witness buried parts of his heart baring. He said loving goodbyes to his grandchildren and he told his two sons he loved them. In one of his awake states before he died, he asked me if I would tell his story. I promised him I would. I didn’t know it would come out as a song, but that’s how the story of my father-in-law wanted to be told. Click below to have a listen.
In memory of John Fragakis, January 18, 1936-November 22, 2013.