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:


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.


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


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. 1421art says:

    Thanks for sharing. Positive vibes being sent your way!

  2. starbrother says:

    That was incredibly touching 🙂

  3. truth42 says:

    Too moving for words. Ian xxx

  4. ashishr26992 says:

    ‘We’ve got a life to live’… Superb.. !

  5. Love this!!! I’m close to my dad too!!!

  6. Great job! Check my blog if you Want http://www.theflagstyle.com 🙂

  7. msshe says:

    Reblogged this on mykentuckyliving and commented:
    For the Sender Project.
    Read this.
    Cry if you wish.
    Think of your loved ones.
    Hug them tightly!

  8. msshe says:

    Beautiful. Sheila

  9. This brought tears to my eyes, and at the same time reminded me that every moment in life is precious. The song is heartfelt as well as beautiful. There is a lesson to be learned here for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. fakhbros says:

    get it

  11. obzervashunal says:

    Extraordinary… the love on this page! Thank you for sharing this. I suppose I am drawn to what you’ve given us here because I too know the pain of loss… of losing many in my life, but I also know that by honoring their lives, my time here and whatever time I have left, is enhanced beyond measure.

    Let me also say, as a singer and songwriter, this song, the words are MIGHTY and beautiful!

  12. treiter89 says:

    Thanks for sharing your touching story. I know the pain of seeing someone you’re close to suffering from cancer. It’s very tough. But look at all the love, it’s beautiful.

  13. awax1217 says:

    There is a time when we realize we are short on time. I had a stroke twelve years ago and thought that it was that time. I hugged my kids and somehow I got a second chance. Now any excuse and I give a hug. Time is a precious commodity and it flows quickly. You find you can not stand the sands of time, they just shift through your fingers. Great piece and may you find peace.

  14. Gary Garris says:

    Reblogged this on Street Smart Business Sense and commented:
    Read the story below and then press play and let me know if your eyes are still dry.

  15. Thank you for sharing this, Loren. It’s obvious your dad is looking down upon his daughter with a big smile on his face. Keep up the good work!

  16. We got limited time in this world we’ve to do our best

  17. J-Me says:

    Reblogged this on Dear Julia and commented:
    It’s so heart-warming.

  18. ragstereon says:

    Amazing…truly heart…….i wish wherever your father is, today he will be proud of you of what you are today..aimen

  19. iamcrenique says:

    Reblogged this on Love Isn't Painful and commented:
    Beautiful words and song by a father and son

  20. WOW! Sitting here with tears in my eyes!

  21. Such a lovely post! brought tears to my eyes! very moving xxx

  22. Diane Jacoby says:

    Well, I began this Saturday morning crying – but inspired – and so grateful for all you are doing and sharing with us.

  23. Karen Ribby says:

    Words cannot express the feelings we all feel when reading your blog Hannah, or listening to Graham’s tribute to your Dad….the video was the best! We all miss him, but you’re keeping him alive in our hearts and thoughts. Those of us who have lost loved ones share your feelings, but not many of us have the talent to voice those feelings, as you and Graham have done! Thanks for sharing….Hugs to the Nancarrow family, Karen R.

  24. Kristy says:

    You are so lucky to have had such a wonderful father! Don’t EVER forget that! I can only imagine how much you miss him considering that I miss him & I didn’t even really know him..
    My thoughts & prayers continue to be with you & your family. I am sure your mom has her bad days & her really bad days right about now… Please give her an extra hug the next time you are with her & tell her how grateful you are for choosing such a wonderful man to be your father!

  25. Barbara Frederick says:

    What a beautiful tribule to a wonderful man. I loved your Dad’s letter and thanks Graham for your heartfelt song. Thanks Hannah for sharing this last year about your Dad. Your family is a wonderful example of how families should be. You were blessed to have him for your dad and for your wonderful family. I miss your Dad on T.V. His goodness showed through the broadcasts. May God bless and be especially close to all of you.

  26. Kathryn Jeffery says:

    Graham, what a beautiful song! Hannah, thank you for sharing the continuing story of the Nancarrow family.

  27. Becky Baird says:

    Hannah!!! I love this story!! Graham is one of the kids that will always stand out to me from my teacher perspective!! I always adored his spirit, energy and out of the box nature! Much love to your family! Xo Becky Cherlin baird (I do FitTAP with Stlvania)

    Kids on stage productions


  28. Erin Smith says:

    You really are something else. Your dad has left deep footprints, but especially in you!!
    I do not know you or your family (other than being a local San Diegan), but since your Dad was diagnosed, I’ve followed your journey and continue to be touched by your humor, depth, grace and honesty. I will hope to meet you 3/17…..

  29. Lisa says:

    Beautiful. As I was watching this, I had the Walrus 105.7 on in the background, and a Billy Joel song came on (Only the good die young) Thank You so much Hannah for sharing this. You tug at my hearts strings big time when you write, I feel it deep down in my gut and heart. My thoughts and prayers are always with the Nancarrows. Much love to you! ❤ (Keep writing, I look forward to your blog!!)

  30. Diane S. says:

    Breathtaking! I feel so blessed to be on this road with the Nancarrow family. I learn from you every day!

  31. Tracy says:

    So much better to watch the recording with Loren there…so happy he got to hear such a great tribute from Graham and company before he had to go…thanks for sharing this with us, means a lot!!!

  32. Adrienne says:

    BEAUTIFUL and love the song !!

  33. Anonymous says:

    What a great dad he was.

  34. Christy mueller says:

    Hannah you and your family are in our prayers.This was beautiful thank you for sharing!
    Sincere Love, The Mueller family

  35. Jenni says:

    Love! Thanks for continuing to share about a great man who did live life well!

  36. Claudia Stewart says:

    What an incredible tribute to your dad.

  37. Thank you Hannah for continueing to keep us updated on how the family is doing. I hope you all know that all of San Diego loves the Nancarrow family. Graham… I got this posting on my tablet while watching American Idol last night and knew I wouldn’t get through it without tears, so decided to wait til the next day. Well…. waiting didn’t keep away the tears. My tears are both happy and sad. Happy because your dad is in a better place now. Sad because I miss his smile and the knowledge that you won’t be able to see him smiling at your concerts. He will be there, you just won’t be able to see him. However knowing the love between you two, I’ll bet you will sense his presence. Beautiful song. Heartfelt. So glad Loren got to watch and hear the finished product.

  38. Darn it all, with tears in my eyes, but still a smile on my face, I enjoyed this to the very center of my heart. Beautiful! You grew up in a golden family, touched by love and light. Small wonder, you all shine!

  39. Patty says:

    Wow, I miss your Dad… keep on singing kid, you got it!!

  40. Priscilla says:

    I cried all the way through……lovely,. What an incredible love between a father and son.

  41. Karen says:

    A super lovely and meaningful song for a wonderful dad that San Diegan will always remember. Thank you so much for sharing and take care!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Very touching song, your family is amazing

  43. Anonymous says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. You are a talented song writer and I love your music. I want more!

  44. Jen Ben says:

    Wow, beyond beautiful. Thank-you for having the heart to share this with us. Super touching for sure.

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