I’ve gone back to listening to some of my old CDs while driving. Listening to Carole King I find memories stirred and songs that seem to have a whole new meaning now. Like “Now and Forever”.
Now and forever you are a part of me And the memory cuts like a knife
Now and forever I’ll remember all the promises still unbroken
‘Til death do us part is one promise that is still unbroken. We kept that promise.
And think about all the words between us That never needed to be spoken
I’ve thought about those last days and how we often sat not saying a word. Sometimes I’ve longed for memories of some long, final conversation. But then I realize there was no need. Talking was what drew us together – we could sit and talk for hours when we were dating. Years later we would sometimes find ourselves lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning having long serious discussions. Sometimes he would just talk and I’d drift off to sleep. And he never minded that I did.
We are the lucky ones Some people never get to do All we got to do
I discovered Sean of the South this year and when I see see his name in my inbox every morning I know I’m in for a good read on his blog. He writes about everything, but a recurring theme is the loss of his dad when he was 12. He even mentioned that someone has said he talks about that too much. I don’t think so. It’s a part of him.
Grief touches us all in different ways. When my Dad died I grieved, but so much was going on in my immediate family that I didn’t really have time to stop and grieve. It hit me about eight or nine months later. Like a knock down punch. Mom had been grieving in her own way. I remember she wasn’t eating enough at one point, then later it was the opposite – she was eating a lot of sweets which was unusual for her.
She also could not listen to music for a long time, because it always made her think of Dad. It was quite a while before she began playing the radio again.
This year for NaNoWriMo I’m attempting the family story once again. Last year I wrote about 23,000 words. This year I’m trying to redo it in the forms of verse and letters. So I’m reading/rereading the tons of letters I have here, from 1925-2015. Today I read a letter Mom wrote her sister, Billie, a month after their mother, my Mamaw, died in 1983.
“Seems like for the last couple of weeks I’ve had a delayed reaction to Mama’s dying. Can’t explain it, but I guess it’s a natural thing, I don’t know.”
It really struck me all over how much I miss Mom. Lately I’ve found myself tearing up with an overwhelming feeling of loss. It just comes over me and I can’t control it. In three months it will be two years that she’s been gone. I know I’ve talked about it a good bit here; forgive me.
Today is The Avett Brothers concert in Pelham, Alabama. As hard as it is to listen to sometimes, I sure hope they play No Hard Feelings.
“Why does it seem so often to be a human quality to forget those who have done good things for us, and to remember those who have hurt us?” – from Sold Into Egypt by Madeleine L’Engle.
“Even as a tiny girl, she would just absorb the meanness of people around her, and as that strange girl slapped her, Margaret literally turned the other cheek. ‘I just took it,’ she said sixty years later. ” – from Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg
In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert TOMORROW, I have been writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.
“And in every place he abandons he leaves something vital, it seems to me, and starts his new life somewhat less encrusted, like a lobster that has shed his skin and is for a time soft and vulnerable.” –E.B. White
I love E.B. White, best known to most for his classics, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. But it’s his essays that I like even more.
I have moved a bit in my adult life. We have lived in 11 houses in our 40 years of marriage. I get what White says about leaving something vital behind. We’ve left friends and family too many times. A few moves, though, let us, like the lobster, shed a skin and leave behind an old unwanted crust. Every new house, every new beginning, brings with it a time of being soft and vulnerable. But, nearly every house became a home that was hard to leave. All I know is I don’t want to live encrusted like the lobster. I want to be soft and vulnerable.
In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I’ve been posting a series connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.
“Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think…”
– Janie, from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
“…what they had discovered in those years was not the love people whisper about over candles, but the kind they need when their baby girl is coughing at three 0’clock in the morning.” -from Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg
“You can drive a man into devilry by contempt. If you want to melt him into goodness, try love.” – Alexander Maclaren
Note: Maclaren was born in 1826 in Glasgow, Scotland. He received his BA from the University of London before he was 20, then began his ministry at Portland Chapel, Southampton, England. After 12 years he went to Union Chapel in Manchester where he remained until 1903. His words have been a great help and comfort to me for the past year.
In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I have been writing a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors. Back in August and September many educators all across the US were going back to school with the goal of connecting with their students. As a former full-time teacher and current substitute teacher this idea rings so very true. Just last week I was in a fifth grade classroom and inevitably a few students felt they needed to guide me in the ways of their teacher’s discipline plan. They felt I needed to put some of their classmates names on a list. I refrained. I know they were only trying to be good and wanted to be sure I knew it. I made so many mistakes in my classroom discipline back in the day. Just as in parenting. So, I now approach subbing just like I do grandparenting. I “Say Love”.
If the days aren’t easy and the nights are rough When they ask you what you’re thinking of Say love, say for me love Say love, say for me love…
And yes we live in desperate times…
Say love, say for me love… – Living of Love
I love how the audience sings along in this video. Can’t wait for the 25th!
“I don’t think we can ever love too much…only too little.” – from Blue Eyes Better by Ruth Wallace-Brodeur
I’v tried to think of a time when this statement wouldn’t apply, but I just can’t. Yes, we can overindulge is many ways, but that isn’t love. We can say “love you’ at the end of every conversation, but that’s not always love; it’s often habit. Sometimes it feels as if we have loved too much when it isn’t returned, but no, if it’s real love it’s never too much.
We have a new dog in our household and it’s been a real learning experience for us all – me, the dog, the husband. We don’t know anything about her background as she was just dumped off at the shelter, but we suspect a little abuse. However, she is one, in whatever way a dog “loves”, that knows no bounds. She can never be accused of loving too little. Our last dog, Loretta, was wonderful. We had her for ten years. She was sweet and faithful as a dog can be and loved being with us and near us. But this new girl, Ruby, she needs to be right next to if not on top of us. She craves and gives the most snuggles of any dog I’ve ever had. But, for me, it’s never too much.
“Roll with it or get rolled over.” – Raven’s tattoo
I love the story behind this video and I really love the song. I am new to John Moreland, but this caused me to look up some more of his music. Take a listen to Slow Down Easy. And then watch the video below. Don’t cry…
In last week’s Monday Music #11, I introduced you (if you hadn’t heard of them before) to The Dustbowl Revival. I promised to continue down the trail I started, so here goes. This week’s video not only features their song, Never Had to Go, but also one of my all-time favorite actors, Dick Van Dyke, along with his wife. Take a watch/listen!
This next video is of Arlene – watch until the end…