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Tom Makosky, 66: The Turtles' 'Happy Together'

More than 500,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit this country and the world just over a year ago. NPR is remembering some of those who lost their lives by listening to the music they loved and hearing their stories. We're calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.

My dad was a great lover of music. He played in bands for most of his youth, and he's the reason I have a deep love of music and playing instruments. We were always really close, but my daughter and he had the most special bond. From the time she could walk, they'd be in his garage listening to everything from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Steppenwolf.

But, one song and band were exceptionally special to them — "Happy Together" by The Turtles. They played and danced to that song on repeat for years.

The line, "Me and you, and you and me," sums up their relationship. It's the perfect portrait of how they were together — inseparable and happy. When they were together, skies were bluer and he was happier. He instantly turned into a kid around her, and he was miserable if he went more than a week without seeing "his baby."

When I hear "Happy Together," I'm reminded of a time when my daughter was about 2. She wanted to run in the rain, but no one else did — except my dad. When he said "yes," they began running in and out of the garage laughing and drenched without a care in the world.

I miss my dad terribly and I don't think I'll ever get over the trauma of losing him to COVID-19. However, the thing that hurts the most is the special bond my daughter lost. --Stephanie Veto, daughter

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