Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bushel and a Peck

While on Facebook this morning, I ran across a post by a friend I've never met in person. Often her posts have caught my eye and we've traded a few messages since friending each other on the social network. This morning, I began to notice postings of several different songs that were familiar to me. One song in particular reminded me of my mother who often sang as she cleaned house or went about the business of her day.

When I became a young mother, I also found myself singing the words I remembered from this classic sung by Doris Day, I'm assuming in the 60s. I also remember singing this to my grandchildren when they were smaller. Since they were born about forty years after the popularity of this song, one might think it a bit old fashioned and not at all something children of today would respond to hearing. As I listened to the Youtube video and the verses I had either never heard my mom sing or failed to remember, I realized it was the memory of my mom, rather than the memory of the words that was most important.

That words from songs can lodge in one's brain and be recalled a half century later is pretty miraculous in itself. Sharing the memory of a song and the legacy of one who opened that door of memory for you is a real blessing. Music and words can so mirror the heart of a person.

 As the door to memories of my mom swung open today, I didn't hear the voice of my mother so much as I heard the sound of her heart. I find myself wondering today if I appreciated her deep love for her family while she was with us and whether I have recognized the heart strings she pulled in me.

Our choice of music is deeply personal and seems to rise from something planted deep within us. Who can know how profound the impact of a lullaby or song sung to an infant while cradled on a mother or grandmother's breast. What of the serendipitous tune that escapes the mother while washing dishes or driving one's child to school? Which ones will find residence in the heart of the child and what will it speak to them a decade or half century later if anything?

A week ago, I was in a classroom where counselors talked to students about a classmate, a mere third grader, who had died after a battle with cancer. Their primary suggestion was to hold onto their memories of the one they had come to love. Their memories would sustain them in the days ahead. While my mother passed away almost six years ago and my journey through the grief process is devoid of the pain it once created in my heart, I still experiences such as the one I had today sustain my memory of my mother and bring back to mind how much she meant to me.

As I shared on my profile of this blog once, I often thought of myself as a very different kind of woman than my mother as I raised my children. As I moved into my new role as a grandmother, I began to realize the startling similarities in myself and not only my mother but also my grandmother. Today a somewhat simple and silly classic tune revealed to me again the depths of my mother's impact on my heart and my life.

Today my heart not only remembers this 60s classic repeated enough in my hearing to find residence in my memory but also the times I found myself singing this tune to my own children and grandchildren. I am also reminded of the completely original lullaby God dropped into my heart as I rocked my grandchild one night. I've now sung it to all my grandchildren. Music, especially with words of affirmation... it's like an invisible thread running through the generations tying our hearts together in love.  Sometimes it seems to be like notes floating out of nowhere to sustain the memory of one we once held dear.

As you listen to one of my mom's favorite songs, perhaps you'll be lead to think of that special someone and even hear their heart as you suddenly catch the sound of one of their favorite songs. Allow yourself to go there... sing along... tap your toe...see their face... hear their laughter...Today I wish for you a bushel and a peck of happy memories and a symphony of their heart as you go about your day.

1 comment:

  1. Reading what you wrote Robin was just what I needed to read right now. I am tired. It was a hard day. I feel like I failed in so many ways. You brought my heart back to something pure and simple and sweet.

    When you write about how songs stay with you it reminds me of how little Frankie McCourt felt in Angela's Ashes, when somebody would sing somebody elses song. He hated that. His Mother sang a certain song to his Daddy when she was happy. To him that was Her song. Robin you and Frank McCourt star on the same page with me, your writing helps me though life. Your ponderings bridge a path in my soul from what has been and what is to what can be.


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