John Carter Cash (53) remembers his father Johnny Cash (1932-2003) in an essay 20 years after his death. He wrote this exclusively for “People”. The musician’s son addresses the country legend directly and describes, among other things, how the world changed after his death.

“Dad, I’ve seen you every day since you left us,” Carter Cash begins his personal text. “If I wonder how you feel about something, all I have to do is ‘check in’.” The 53-year-old describes today’s time with its technical possibilities as a blessing. He can find various interviews with his father on the Internet and search for all kinds of information. This means he is permanently present for him.

He writes about how Nashville has changed as the center of country music, with its skyscrapers and countless tourists. A museum was built there for the musician in 2011 and despite the external changes, the soul of the city is still alive. “Thirty minutes north of downtown, I often walk the land that was once yours. I feel your presence there. When I record music at Cash Cabin Studio, your spirit continues to inspire the musicians, the engineers and my creativity,” said the songwriter and music producer.

He feels particularly connected to his father through spiritual books or by studying his texts, poems or other writings. “I read the words and remember them as your own lessons. Now (…) [they] remind me to strive to be kind to everyone, as you and Mom have always been,” writes Carter Cash. “I’m still your student and thank you. But I still miss you.”

Johnny Cash was a devoted family man and great artist who inspired him personally. His son makes this clear in his essay. The music and lyrics continue to be an important part of his life: “I’m still reading, still listening and still learning. And I appreciate you more every day,” Carter ends the emotional text.

John Carter Cash is the only son of the country icon and his second wife June Carter Cash (1932-2003), who died six months before him. In his new book “Johnny Cash: The Life in Lyrics” he shows rare photos and previously unpublished texts by his father. It contains 125 of Johnny Cash’s compositions spanning 60 years and the story behind them.