I’ve been walking around in a fog this week, emotionally raw, yet still numb somehow. I haven’t turned on the TV in our bedroom; that was my husband’s thing. I tried once, changed it to TCM (our favorite channel to watch together), but it just didn’t seem right. So the television stays off, and the bedroom remains quiet. The television hasn’t gone on in the early morning hours and I’m no longer in the know about politics, the stock exchange, or current affairs. Sports and weather no longer make their way into my subconscious mind while I sit quietly next to him reading. I barely know what the weather is going to be outside my own door each day.
Instead, when alone in our bedroom, I have either been watching sad, strange movies on my iPad, mostly independent films with odd plots, or looking up songs about lost love. A lot of songs. My Facebook friends and family have been subjected to random postings of music that speaks for me or to me, some of which have brought comfort and some that open up the pain.
Music was a big part of our family’s lives. When the kids were little, we would blast CDs on long car rides, encouraging them to sing along. When they were a bit older, we would play the music channels on cable while we cleaned house on the weekends. More recently, my husband would plug his tablet into the speakers, search YouTube for his favorite songs, and proceed to play solo riffs on his “guitar” (typically his 9-iron). Although his taste ran primarily to 80s rock, he also had an affinity for folk, some country (thanks to my influence), and modern pop.
Certain songs and albums correlated to different places we’ve lived or different periods in our lives. Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” album always reminded us of our move to Florida. He “suffered” through the bubble gum pop for our daughters’ sakes (although truth be told, he knew all the lyrics and sang along with them). “It Ends Tonight” by The All American Rejects will forever bring to mind the time when our son was 8 years old and he belted out the song a cappella for my mom and her sisters who had come to visit – between his flawless performance and the acoustics in the cathedral-ceilinged coach home, it was beyond memorable. (And who knew that he knew every word?!) Daughtry, on the other hand, reminded us of our brief residence in Tennessee.
We have been fortunate enough to see several concerts as a family, mainly at different theme parks through the years. We saw Hootie & the Blowfish at Universal Studios one year during which my husband held our son on his shoulders the entire concert. Granted D was small at the time, but any parent who holds a child this way can attest to the fact that it gets tiring rather quickly. Yet A held him this way for nearly 2 hours! Another unforgettable performance was at Disney’s Epcot when we watched “Night RAIN-jerrrrrr”. The kids were alternately laughing at the way the announcer pronounced the band’s name, and us “old people” fanboying/fangirling.
With all the positive associations I have with music, it is only fitting that I have turned to it now. It definitely has “charms to soothe the savage breast”, and can speak to a place deep within in a way nothing else can touch. Some songs spark pleasant memories while others stir up emotion in a manner that allows me to deal with my sorrow in a safe environment, knowing I am definitely not the first person to go through this. And with this healing power of music, I know it is definitely the “singer not the song” that will enable me to be a Survivor…
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