Monday Music #23

It’s hard to believe the last Monday Music I posted was on February 17,2020. Just before the world around me was totally reprogrammed.

“The Keep Going Song” by the Bengsons came out in October, 2020. It’s silly and profound at the same time. And much better than “This is the Song That Never Ends”!

And we are so lucky and blessed to be safely here
And we thought we’d be here for like ten days, tops!
{What did we know?} What did we know?
{What did we know?} What did we know?
We thought we knew a lot
We thought we knew a lot

Here we are, ten months, not ten days, after this song came out and it feels like we are back at square one.

And if your heart is breaking
I hope it’s breaking open

My heart was broken last year. And though it will never be the same, music helps to heal and soothe.

And I hope that you’ve watched a lot of
Really great television
Like, a lot of it!

I watch TV late at night. I plowed through several series this past year: Still Standing With Johnny Harris, Lost, Manifest, the Good Doctor.

I pray my pain is a river
That flows to the ocean
That connects my pain to yours
And I pray I pray my happiness is like pollen
That flies to you and pollinates your joy oh boy
Oh boy is that possible?
I don’t know I don’t know
We are making this up as we go

I’ve been able to connect my pain and my joy to other widows, most recently via Hope for Widows.

So, take a listen to this song – I hope it makes you smile.

Moving Forward

I’m not one for looking for signs and wonders, but sometimes it’s just interesting how God can use seemingly insignificant things to direct our thoughts. I follow a blog called DC Widow that has been very helpful to me. Her post from March 11 was good, but it was a comment from a reader that got me started on the idea of moving forward. The reader, Steph, said, “Nora McInerny’s TED talk about not moving on but moving forward is spot on…” so, I looked it up and she was right.

At breakfast I picked up the AARP bulletin to scan it while I ate and the cover jumped out at me: “The Path Forward”.

AARP Bulletin

Then, at lunch I did the same with the latest copy of Southern News, from Florida Southern College. Inside was was an article heading “…move forward without forgetting the past.” Wow. It all goes together.

Southern News, Winter, 2021

I am moving forward, well, literally I’m moving south. In two weeks. I closed on my home in Tampa on March 5, then stayed there a week on an air mattress, painting walls and planning. At the end of each day I just drove 1.6 miles to my son’s house where I was fed and loved on. Now I’m finishing up packing and preparing for my third move since last May. It’s been exhausting, not just physically but emotionally. I have to keep stopping myself from the thoughts of “this isn’t how it was supposed to be”. I remind myself, rather, “this isn’t how we planned it.”

Carole King’s song, Anyone At All, comes to mind. I have loved that song ever since I saw “You’ve Got Mail” years ago. It felt like Our Song. It feels like it even more now.

“You’ve become a memory I can’t erase…” “It wasn’t in the plan, not that I could see…” “…that’s what catches me when I fall
I’m so glad it was you”

Hymns of Grace #1: All Creatures of our god and king

words by St. Francis of Assisi – “Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam”

I had a very special aunt – Great Aunt Marie, and I am named after her. She lived in the Baptist Village in Waycross, GA, in her later years. I have several hymn books in the house, and one used to belong to her. The front page is stamped Waycross Primitive Baptist Church. I’ve decided to start going through them, singing the ones I know, reading the ones I don’t. Today it was All Creatures of Our God and King.

There are numerous versions of this song out there, but this one is my current favorite.

my heart

I often take song lyrics to suit my circumstances. And I think that’s okay. Music and song soothe my soul, make me think, make me cry, ease my pain and bring me joy.

I’ve taken these lyrics as my own:

What do I get when I find out I am nothing?
Who am I without my name?
How do I stop this emptiness from growing?
The dumb instructions coming from my brain

I go to my heart on my knees

I know I am not nothing, but I feel like a half these days. I still have my name, but it’s no longer wife. And yes, there are a lot of dumb instructions coming from my brain.

I go to my heart, frail as it is. On my knees in prayer.



My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

O Come O Come Emmanuel

i.pinimg.com/originals

“When Christ was born as a human baby, he ensured that He would die, because death is something that comes to every human being. But because Jesus Christ was wholly God as well as wholly human, He rose from the grave, to the astonishment not only of the Roman overlords and the powerful Jews in the Sanhedrin, but to the astonishment of all those who had been with Him during His earthly life. The Resurrection, too, is beyond the realm of fact and bursts into the realm of love, of truth, for in Jesus, truth and love are one and the same.” – from The Rock That is Higher by Madeleine L’Engle.

I enjoy the lights and presents and coziness of family as much as the next person. But, I also have a sadness in my heart when I see so many who don’t know this Christ that Christmas is supposed to be about. “Away in a Manger” for most is a cute song kids sing in little choirs, along with “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

Listen to a song that tells more of the story of Christmas

O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight

A not so small year

There is a song that’s been on my playlist for quite a few years: One Small Year by Shawn Colvin. As often happens, I now hear it much differently when I listen to it.

One small year
It's been an eternity
It's taken all of me to get here
In this one small year

The hands of time
They pushed me down the street
They swept me off my feet to this place
And I don't know my fate

Now through the night
I can pretend
The morning will make me whole again
And everyday
I can begin
To wait for the night again


I know this has been but one small year in view of all history and in God’s eyes. But, for me, for so many, it seems in copious ways to have been “an eternity”. It truly has taken all of me to get here. But I could not have done it alone. Yes, humanly speaking, I was alone for so much of it, but I have not truly been alone. God has lifted me up when I could not see through the tears. Friends have checked on me. Family have loved on me. The printed word has renewed me, God’s Word has comforted me.

I don’t know my fate in the sense of what the next year will hold. I know my final fate, my end, in Christ. I have to take that knowledge, that hope, and keep going.

November spells sweet memory

And I sing songs of sorrow, because you're not around...

November spells sweet memory, the season blue remains
November spells sweet memory, the season blue remains...

November Blue - TAB

So many things can trigger my tears, but it’s mostly music that gets me. Especially in church because Chuck loved the hymns so well. Sometimes in the early morning or on a Sunday afternoon I’d hear him softly singing from the hymn book while sitting in his office or in the kitchen.

Today we sang “To God Be the Glory” and “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”. Wonderful classics.

...taking away my burden, setting my spirit free;
for the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me...

…make sure you run to something and not away from…

to the beach

“Still, ghosts have a way of finding your new address.” – From All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg

I have found this to be true more than once. I thought when we moved from Winter Haven back to Jacksonville years ago I was going to leave some ghosts behind. But problems often have a way of following you.

The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town 'cause
Nothing happens here that doesn't happen there
So, when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from 'cause
Lies don't need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere 
 - The Weight of Lies/The Avett Brothers

Now there are different ghosts, memories. Memories can be good or bad. Or both. But, either way, they have found me and will not let me go.

The Weight of Lies – TAB

“It’s not somethin’ you get over, but it’s somethin’ you get through…”


I never heard this song before today, but let me tell you how I found it.

If you knew Chuck, you know he loved baseball. A few years ago we traveled to Douglas Georgia for a reunion of a group of guys who played baseball together at South Georgia Junior College, now South Georgia State College. It was great fun and I finally got to put a face to a name for so many I’d heard about over the years. This group has a Facebook page and when they learned of Chuck’s illness they posted so many encouraging words and I knew many were praying for us. Just eight days after Chuck died, another from this group of friends, Tim Snipes, also died of pancreatic cancer. I’d heard his name but didn’t recall meeting him. I immediately reached out to his wife Libby and today I got a response – she had just seen my message. So, as we are now Facebook “friends” I looked at her page and that is where I found this song.

And just today another brother in Christ, Ed Wallen, went home to be with the LORD. So much death in a short time, and now so many widows left behind. I’m beginning to realize how there are some things you just can’t know, can’t empathize with, until you have experienced it. May God forgive me of my past lack of care and make me more aware of others and their burdens.

This Song – Not Just for July 4th

Last October Chuck and I waited excitedly for our copy of Closer Than Together on vinyl to arrive. I’d heard a few songs ahead of time, others were brand new the first time we listened. Some songs took a while to grow on me, but I came to love them all, with New Woman’s World being the exception. But, a few packed a real punch. Like We Americans. The more I listened, the more I loved it. A few weeks after our record arrived, we got to hear it sung in concert (and sing along)  in Pelham, Alabama. It was powerful.

The music of the Avett Brothers makes me happy and sad all at once. It will forever be their music that brings me back to these last few years Chuck and I had together.

Say Love