Letting people down

I’m learning a lesson right now in letting people down, and it feels about as good as a swift kick to the stomach.

For several months now, I’ve been looking forward to going to Nova Scotia for the Ukulele Ceilidh. Everyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about playing ukulele, and this would be only my second-ever “all uke” gig.

The folks organizing this event have been great, putting me on the bill (and on posters, too) with some of the finest players around. This is an honour, and a thrill, and a commitment. Unfortunately, this is also a commitment I can’t make.

For three years now I’ve never had to cancel a gig, but I’ve had to cancel this one, and it’s ugly. I feel rotten, and I’ve let some people down, and even my fellow performers are emailing me questioning my decision.

At the heart of it is a very simple issue: I’ve got a job to do that weekend, and that’s looking after my 9-year-old daughter, Jayke, who lives in Montreal. As a dad who lives a long way from his kid, there’s no other call to make.

So I’ve made the call. It feels right. But it also feels awful, and that’s the sad, sick feeling you get when you’re letting people down.

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