About 6 weeks ago I danced to my favorite Tom Petty song (Wildflowers) with my dad at my wedding. It was not the “typical” father-daughter dance but it meant something to both of us.
I remember being 17 and creating the playlist for my very first trip to Europe. I went through my parent’s music collection and found a few Tom Petty CDs. I of course knew of Tom Petty since both of my parents loved him. However, what struck me first was the resemblance of young Tom Petty to the pictures I had seen of my dad when he was young. They looked so similar!
From that moment on, I became a huge Tom Petty fan. Whoever rode in my car was stuck listening to CD after CD of his music. Songs like “American Girl”, “Wildflowers”, and “Learning To Fly” take me right back to sitting in the driver’s seat of my little red 1999 Mercury Mystique.
Brett broke the news of Tom Petty’s death to me on Monday. I was sitting at my desk at work and I was shocked. It was already a terrible day with the news of the Las Vegas shooting. His music gave me hope and comfort when I needed it the most and suddenly he was gone too.
When we found out he was still living (barely) I felt sad and hopeless. I knew he would never be the same. When word broke that he actually passed I felt numb. It was a bit better because it came as less of a shock this time.
When I see all of the pictures people are posting in tribute to Tom I can’t help but think of my dad. He doesn’t look anything like Tom Petty these days but I can’t help but see the similarities.
I hope Tom is somewhere among the wildflowers.