We Ain’t Got The Time

A couple years back my dad was in contact with singer-songwriter, author and friend, Alex Woodard. Alex had been working on a project called For the Sender, a collection of real-life letters woven into an incredible book and album. From each earth-moving letter, Alex teamed up with GRAMMY® Award winning musicians to write and produce original songs. My dad had planned on doing a T.V. story about For the Sender but, in a bittersweet turn of events, my dad became sick before his idea came to fruition. Rather than doing a story on the project, he became an integral part of the project.

In April, just 3 months after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, my dad and I sat down and wrote a letter to my brother, Graham. My dad had lost most of his dexterity by that time, so I typed while he closed his eyes and said all the things he wanted to say to Graham. And we both cried.

Here’s the letter:

G,

The text from you was unexpected: “Bonsai Show May 11 at the Flower Fields. Wanna hang?”

Wow—and Hell yes!

You have always been our wild child—an artist whose roots dig deep and whose branches stretch bravely toward the sun. And you’ve allowed me to bask in the most awe-inspiring elements of your creativity. Being among the crowd at your shows just feels natural—but your enthusiasm to explore my world as you build your own is incredible.

Where our spirits converge, at nature and art, yields a magnetic energy that we have time to explore. And we’ll navigate it together—but you’ll have to drive.

Your energy and presence are those of an oak tree. I envision you among the hardwood of a great California forest. The extraordinarily deep roots. The impressive strength to grow big and tall. The ability to sustain those around you. And the offering of protection from the sometimes harsh environment. You are the oak. The proud. The sturdy. The true.

Each song you write. Each story you tell. I learn more about you on a deeper level. And there hasn’t been a layer yet that has failed to impress me more than the layer before.

I love you, Kid.

Dad

Alex invited Graham to join him in writing and recording a song in reply to my dad’s letter. The final product…pure magic.

This is “We Ain’t Got the Time”

My dad’s letter and my brother’s song are featured in the 2014 edition of For the Sender. Both the book and accompanying album are powerful reminders of the human condition and of the human capacity for unconditional love.

To learn more about For the Sender please visit  www.forthesender.com

For more music from Graham Nancarrow please visit www.nancarrowmusic.com

We miss you, Dad.

XOXO Hannah Jane

We Ain’t Got The Time

Hey dad, I got your letter

And I ain’t much of a writer

So I’ll sing you a song

I’ve seen big ships pull out of nasty weather

Rock back and forth and sail on

And now there’s a storm moving through

Tell me, Dad, what’s a boy to do?

Not gonna lie, this don’t sit well

And it hurts my heart to see you go through hell

I say my prayers every night in my bed

When the heaps of thoughts run through my head

Don’t cry

We’ve got a life to live

Thank you for bringing me up right

You always seem to know just what I need

I owe you one for bailing me out of trouble that night

Yeah I’m a wild one, but you planted the seed

There ain’t nothing I could do

To show appreciation for a friend like you

Not gonna lie, this don’t sit well

And it hurts my heart to see you go through hell

I say my prayers every night in my bed

When the heaps of thoughts run through my head

Don’t cry

We’ve got a life to live

We’ve got a life to live

Daddy, please don’t cry

We ain’t got the time

Not gonna lie, this don’t sit well

And it hurts my heart to see you go through hell

I say my prayers every night in my bed

When the heaps of thoughts run through my head

Don’t cry

We’ve got a life to live

Graham Nancarrow and Loren Nancarrow 1989

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Hannah Jane Nancarrow is a San Diego State University alumni, with a B.A. in journalism and new media. After graduating in 2011, Hannah worked in local T.V. news before her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Hannah managed and contributed to her dad’s incredibly popular blog (thenancarrowproject.com) and social media platforms before he passed away, after 11 months of bravely battling and blogging. The diagnosis was a catalyst for her own writing and for following each whim and dream. Today, Hannah writes her own blog and has been a keynote speaker at San Diego Women's Week, Relay for Life, and a top fundraiser for cancer-related causes throughout San Diego. Hannah also has a passion for health and fitness, since losing 75 pounds in 2011. She earned her Spinning® and group fitness instructor certifications, and teaches weekly cycle classes in Encinitas, California. Hannah also earned her real estate license and works in the family business, Nancarrow Realty Group, in North County San Diego.

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116 comments on “We Ain’t Got The Time
  1. Jodie says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! Thank you so very much for sharing!!

  2. Terrence Edgar says:

    What a great video. Your father was a great guy. I met him one night at the carmel valley shell station when I was working for AAA. He was stranded with a flat tire and was the nicest customer I had ever had. Thank you for this blog and keeping his memory alive. I felt awful when I heard the news of his passing and I just wanted your family to know that to this tow operator is was a pleasure and honor to come to his rescue. He was just a super great guy and even though he was waiting for a while for service and could have been angry and upset, he was nothing but kind,courteous and grateful to me for showing up to help him out. May GOD bless your entire family. Sincerely, Terry Edgar (formally of Rose Towing Inc. Del Mar, Ca.)

  3. Les in NE says:

    Simply beautiful. My heart aches for your family. I lost my stepdad two weeks before you lost your dad. Today would have been his 83rd birthday. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and virtual hugs.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Every time you share a memory, Loren comes back to life! Beautiful song, Graham, and such wonderful pictures 🙂 xoxo

  5. Bill Hirr says:

    WonDeRfuL TribuTe tO/foR a WonderfuL MaN..
    YeS ThiS iS a TeaRJerKeR……MaY GOD KeeP on BLeSSinG aLL YoU Nancarrows

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hannah you are an amazing and strong person. Thank you for sharing stories of your Dad with us.

  7. Kay says:

    Not a dry eye “in the house”…Thank you for sharing so much of Loren and your family with us. And Graham, you got the music in your soul……what a touching tribute.

  8. Vicki Markley says:

    What can I say that hasn’t been said. You are truly inspiring, and that song as well as the letter from your Pop are both heartwrenching and beautiful~

  9. Dear sweet Hannah- That was amazing!! As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. You’re a true artist, Graham. Your dad was the absolute best and is missed by so many. I’m sure he is watching over your wonderful family and making an awesome garden in heaven!! Love, hugs and strength.

  10. C. Hicks says:

    What a beautiful and moving tribute. This song should be on the radio! It is evident the Nancarrow family is special and I’m sure Loren is beaming from heaven. God bless you all.

  11. Louise Ganus says:

    Thanks, Hannah for sharing a beautiful moment. Loren is definitely beaming with pride up there to see his family.

  12. Adeline says:

    Wow! What a beautiful song and tribute to Loren. My tears have not stopped. Thank you so much for keeping us posted.

  13. Nancy Patterson says:

    OMG ~~~~~ it is so beautiful. Loren was such a wonderful man. Thank you, his family, for sharing so much of his last days with us. He came into our homes and to a lot of us was a member of our family. We will miss you so much, Loren.

  14. Linda Tegarden says:

    It is pretty obvious from Hannah’s blog and interjections from Susie and Graham that the Nancarrows are an extraordinary bunch of people–nature/nuture –don’t know what exactly to credit, but all of you are shining examples of how the best lives are lived–to the full. How you were willing to reveal your fierce, brave selves so completely is inspiring.

  15. Jane McGill says:

    Omg. Beautiful. In tears.

  16. Oh, my. That description of Graham as the “wild child” made my heart sing. What a blessing to have your parent love you just the way you are. Impossible not to cry listening to the song or reading the letter. Love you all.

  17. Joanne Monia says:

    What an absolutely beautiful song. I am crying my eyes out over here……keep on keeping on Nancarrow Family…..you are all truly amazing! Sending love and strength! ❤

  18. julie says:

    What a wonderful tribute to yours and Graham’s father. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

  19. Dawn says:

    Wonderful indeed. Life goes on and with it the wonderful memories of your dad and his family. Thank you for continuing to live as he would want you to and to share with us.

  20. janis pollard says:

    Bawling my eyes out.
    Precious and painful.
    What amazing words for Graham .to hold onto his whole life through, and he can bask in the love of the wonderful father he had. Many don’t ever know that pride from theirs. Beautiful.

  21. Sharon Everingham says:

    As I read this, I sorta felt like Loren’s still around. Seeing him on the TV with baby Graham is exactly how I remember him. Good times for all San Diegans!!! Because of you, Hannah, he will never be far.

  22. Ann Stevens-MacPherson says:

    This is truly amazing. I cried through the entire song but the tears were healing. It’s a fabulous song. You and your siblings are a wonderful legacy for a man admired and loved by so many. I lived in San Diego for 26 years and he was one of my very favorites on TV. I was very upset when I heard about his cancer and then his death. I now live in the Pacific Northwest but will always remember him, his beautiful smile, his knowledge of weather and all things living and his love for it all. He was an amazing man. And you all, along with your mother, are in my heart and prayers forever.

  23. Kim says:

    Hannah, that was very moving and a wonderful idea! What a great tribute to your dad!! 💜

  24. Linda Todd says:

    Beautiful ! Thanks so much for sharing Hannah it made me cry……..your Dad is greatly missed.

  25. Candace says:

    More than Beautiful! Thank you for sharing !

  26. Debbie Bitker says:

    Oh, Hannah, I hope writing is helping in your healing process. You’re lucky you have that magic gift that your Dad had. What a beautiful, heartfelt letter to Graham, and in return that fantastic song back to your Dad. So many memories you have all shared. Your family is amazing, not many have what you all did, and still do. I have watched the video a few times. It pulls at my heartstrings, the song gets in my head. Just seeing your Dad smiling that smile that we all loved brings a smile and tears. He is a man that we will never forget, he touched so many lives in so many ways. Love you all xoxo

  27. Sharon Cook says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! Something I will keep and watch often. Thank you so much, Hannah you have the same talent with words as your Dad did! Your Mom’s words often bring me to tears, she is an inspiration to all who know her. My love to all 4 of you.

    Sent from my iPhone

  28. Thank you Hannah for your eloquence in documenting and expressing our lives in a way no one else could. We love you forever! xo Mom and Dad xo

  29. Wow is all I can say as the streams of tears slide down my face. God bless you all..What a wonderful song and voice of Graham..You’re Dad is beaming!!!!

  30. gmaj1939 says:

    I miss you Loren. You left an amazing legacy in those children of yours, and in the hearts of all the rest of us on the TV every night. A sweet and caring man.

  31. Anonymous says:

    this is so incredibly touching, beautiful and special. Thank you so much for sharing. Our deep thoughts and prayers go out to you and your dear family.Stop and small the roses as you walk your paths through life and while you do, stare deep into the delicate design and consider it’s maker. Dora

  32. Kathy McChesney says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You continue to give and give. So much love, such a beautiful and moving tribute. You guys are the ultimate tribute to your dad’s memory. Wishing each of you continued growth and success. He did a great job of planting (and nourishing) the seeds. A+ dad, A+ family. Love to you all.

  33. Yvonne Bolton says:

    Hi Hannah,

    I have been following your family’s journey form the beginning when your Dad posted his diagnosis with terminal brain cancer.

    My husband Dan lost his battle with terminal brain cancer in August 2010. Dan was diagnosed with GBM level 4 at the age of 53. We lost him a few days before he turned 55. He was an airline captain for Delta and when he was diagnosed with very similar symptoms to your Dad’s . In fact his tumor was located in the same area of the brain . His diagnosis came as a huge shock to us and turned our lives upside down. Life would never be the same as you very well know. At the time of diagnosis our son Matt was a senior at Cal Poly and my daughter Kylie was a freshman at Cal State San Marcos.

    Dan was such a lover of life. He loved to surf, snowboard, fly and he was an avid golfer. He passed these passions onto our kids whom he loved unconditionally. He was an amazing father and husband and there isn’t a day that goes by without him entering my thoughts.

    I just wanted to let you and your family know how sorry I am for your loss . You are all in my thoughts and prays and thank you for sharing your stories, poems and songs with us, We will try and come to the concert this Friday in honor of your Dad he was an amazing man.

    God Bless,

    Yvonne Bolton

  34. Cindy Yco says:

    Heartfelt tribute to a wonderful man from his son. I love the lyrics and the song. Great job Graham. We miss Loren!!

  35. MeJ says:

    Another apple that didn’t fall far from the tree!!!!! Beautiful.
    Loren’s tribute is his loving family!!!
    God bless you all

  36. Sofia says:

    Once again Hannah you shared a beautiful message. Thank You. We all miss your father but never as much as you do.

  37. Joyce Ward says:

    I was in tears & wrote my first comment before watching the video. I am now in complete crying mode. I love your song, Graham. The slide show is beautiful. Hannah, bless you for sharing this.

  38. Janice Zipp Cannizzaro says:

    GRAHAM, Your tribute to your Dad is beyond beautiful…it’s the words so many of us want to say to our Dad’s, husbands, loved ones but cannot find the words. I’m so glad you did…wish i could have said those things to my Dad….ur Awesome! Thank you for letting us be a part of your family,

  39. Greg Rushall says:

    The title alone says so much….sometime I wish I could reach out to the Nancarrow family and give them all a huge hug. The words in this song really touch my heart!! Graham you are an incredible artist and loving son!

  40. Lauri Hines says:

    Love to you Nancarrows. Thank you for continuing to inspire.

  41. Joyce Ward says:

    I am so touched by this, Hannah, I, too, am in tears…

  42. shari says:

    a huge grip on my heartstrings…beautifully written

  43. sonny foreman says:

    Wonderful tribute..so great to see all the different scenes within his life with a beautiful family.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Heartbreaking. Heart wrenching. Courageous. Beautiful. Grahm, you are amazing. Hannah, thank you for sharing this. ❤️

  45. Cherie says:

    How incredibly powerful, and what a gift to be able to express feelings through music. Beautiful!

  46. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    What a beautiful song! A very fine tribute to a wonderful man who left us too soon. Graham, you ROCK! I wish all of you well.

  47. Barbara mullen says:

    Wonderful so heartfelt, made me cry, lost husband in April, can relate, he was a wonderful person, Loren we miss you.

    • Jackie Owens says:

      How great that is.!!!!! Thank you Hannah for sharing such a wonderful tribute to your dad. We all miss him as well. Knowing he is watching over you all from above until you all meet again. Hugs. Jackie

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