Do you know how one song can stop you in your tracks, pull you backwards in time to a place only you remember? I have many of those songs, for many different situations. I probably have this because I let music define my life, I have a mini-soundtrack, produced by yours truly, that is constantly playing in my mind. Ask a co-worker and they'll tell you I'm constantly singing or someone will say something and I'll bust into song. I've been told it's pretty entertaining.
Today, while finishing up a paper, I decided to throw on my Sarah McLachlan mix in iTunes. Now, if my friend Sara were still reading my blog she'd immediately ask me "what's wrong?" because I used to put Sarah (McLachlan... I'm on a first name basis with many of the artists on my playlists) on when I was having a bad day, needed a good cry, felt like dwelling, was sad, depressed, yadda yadda, you get it. It's different for me these days, as I've written before, my life is no longer that dark place it used to be but like everyone, I have bad days. Today, though mostly a good day, has had some ups and downs. I started by watching a "Biggest Loser" episode and that's probably where I took a hard turn. There is a father-daughter pair on the show and there was a moment in the show where they had a heart to heart and blah blah blah, there was crying and hugging and "I love yous" and I was crying too (because who can watch that show without tearing up, some of their stories are heart-wrenching). It just was another slap in the face to a glaringly absent space in my life. It's hard to see fathers and daughters share that bond some days because it's something I will never have the chance to have, ever again. It made me think of my dad, a lot and made me miss him. So, I suppose putting Sarah on today wasn't too different from when I was younger.
When my family got home from the hospital (after my dad died) I sat in my room and put Sarah's "Angel" on repeat and cried. When Sara's (Beeler-Lothschutz) dad died in college and I got back to the dorms from her house, I put Sarah (McLachlan- keep up man!) in the CD player and sat in the lounge and cried. That day I mostly cried for myself, remembering what it was like loosing dad, learning to live without him in our everydays. I remember opening the fridge not long after the funeral and seeing the cheese we had bought for him in the door and crying. I remember putting his clothes in a garage sale and one man coming by and buying it all. I remember the little card I kept in my back pocket of my softball pants with a note from him, until I washed it (that was a bad day too). I remember a little about him. Red hair, big guy, big feet, hearty laugh, a scar on his middle finger, palm side of his left hand (in fact when I look at my hands I see his sometimes). Varicose veins (thank you very much!), bald spot, warm armpits (long story...), baker. Bits and pieces remain.
I made my mom a scrapbook awhile back about our family. Later, she posted a note she'd written us after he died that says (basically) that he wouldn't have wanted us to remember him lying on the kitchen floor, his heart would want us to remember him healthy and happy, his heart that wanted to see us grow up and get married and have kids, his heart that loved us so. I still can't read that without crying.
Some days you just need a good cry, a "beautiful release, memories seep from my veins..." Sarah says it so well. This is grief folks, never ending, perpetual and so damn sad. It sucks.
My boss's husband died last week, Joc and I went to the viewing and the moment I walked into the funeral home I wanted to leave. Seriously, how can one smell bring you to a place so vividly? Sort of like a good song.
I feel better now. Back to that paper and living life, that's one thing that is never changing. Life sure does go on.