Dear Tom Petty,

You are the voice of my parents’ generation. You are the face of rock ’n’ roll. You have left us too soon.

My father is the embodiment of nostalgia, stuck in 1983, when he was 17 and carefree. I live vicariously through him, wide-eyed and insanely curious what it’d be like to be a teenager in the ‘80s.

He takes me to concerts, probably because he wishes to relive his “good ole days” with his daughter in tow. Some notable acts we’ve seen include Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Heart, Billy Joel and The Who.

I remember one afternoon in 2015, he and I were driving to the Wells Fargo Center, and your song “The Waiting” blasted through the car speakers.

Oh baby, don’t it feel like heaven right now/ Don’t it feel like something from a dream?

My eyes darted in the direction of my dad, and I immediately pointed to the radio, saying, “I need to see Tom Petty in concert sometime soon. I love him.”

“Check to see when he’s playing in Philly next,” my dad excitedly answered, “I remember seeing him a few years ago with your mom and Robin.”

You weren’t coming around on tour anytime soon, and I was saddened — I wished to be immersed in your music, drowning and gasping for air in the general admission pit.

But on October 2, 2017, my desire to see you play was completely shattered.

I texted my dad, “looks like we’re never going to get to see him live.”

Instead of mourning your death with tears and tissues, I decided to celebrate your life, blasting your 1976 album Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

You were only 66-years-old. You had, perhaps, twenty more years of life left to live — the rock ’n’ roll gods took you too soon from us.

In the future, once I am old enough to have teenagers, I, like my father, will take my kids to concerts with me, to relive the days I spent with him. I will proudly blast Into the Great Wide Open, and when my kids ask me who is singing this song, I will smile, think of my father, and tell them about you.

Thank you for your music,

Jordan Meyers