June gloom… I’ll say.
On June 1st my Grandmother passed away. Many knew her as Mildred. I knew her as Grammy…
And with the birth of my daughter, she became GG, Great Grandma. She got to see three great granddaughters… and up until maybe a year ago she was all there… and that is an amazing thing.
She was 103. But to quote or paraphrase from Billy Crystal in Mr. Saturday Night, “It wasn’t enough.”
Perhaps I am naive… I know in many things I am… but… I think that all of us innocently hope and expect that people we have known for our entire lifetimes will be with us for our entire lifetimes. It obviously just doesn’t work out that way.
Living so far away means there were gaps in visits and stories and seeing her… and luckily we got to spend the past holidays with her… But I was hoping to get at least one more visit… one more kiss… one more holding her hand and letting her know how much we loved her.
When someone passes, I think part of the reason we are so sad… and perhaps this is selfish… is that regret kicks in… that movie of all the things we COULD have done starts playing in our minds. We realize where we dropped the ball… what mistakes we made… what we missed with that person, but also what we have missed for ourselves… How we have not lived up to our true potential… It’s a sad and horrible feeling.
I never got to show my Grandmother much professional success. She questioned my career, my lifestyle, my facial hair… but I know she got to see love and caring, and perhaps that is the most important thing.
I went to pick up J from school early the other day and as I got out of the car, the last thing I heard was Bono singing:
“And there is a light, don’t let it go out.” (From “Song For Someone” by U2)
Then a short while later, the man who used to be about peace and love, Cat Stevens sings:
“My body has been a good friend, but I won’t need it when I reach the end.” (From “Miles From Nowhere”)
That is some heavy shit right there… Profound… And on point? Uh, yeah!
There are no coincidences, so I knew they were messages and words I needed to hear.
My Grandmother was not much of a Rock n’ Roller… and certainly not a DJ… but she seems to be spinning some great tunes for me and sending some amazing messages my way…
I got in the car this morning at about 4 am, heading to LAX to fly home for the funeral…
First song… actually the very first lyrics I hear from my radio, tuned to the great KCSN:
“Yes, I understand that every life must end, uh-huh
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, uh-huh
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they’ve got none.
Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe…” (From “Just Breathe” by Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam)
Come on! That is crazy! And yet… it is not. Not crazy at all. There is so much more out there… a true higher power or being or whatever you choose to believe in… but there is something there.
Then there was some Bruce, which had nothing to do with anything… other than it being BRUUUUUUCE! I cannot tell you how much I LOOOOOOVE this station! And you KNOW how much I love Bruce.
I park my car… get on the shuttle bus… and though it is about a different kind of lost love, what is the song playing… which literally starts as I sit down?
“Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath
And I’m still standing here, and you’re miles away
And I’m wonderin’ why you left…” (From “Missing You” by John Waite)
Come on now!!! Again! Who let my Grandmother into the music library?
My Morning Jacket’s “Believe (Nobody Knows)” still powerfully resonates, and plays all the time in my head… ALL THE TIME!
“Believe, believe, believe, believe
Believe, believe, believe, believe
Nobody knows for sure.”
And I cannot get this song out of my head, though it’s been there from before her passing, too… Thank you for that one as well, KCSN!!!
“Where do you fall when you have nowhere to go?
Where do you go where you have no one to see?
What do you see when you have nothing to feel?
What do you feel when you’re all alone?” (From “Falling From The Sky” by Calexico, featuring Ben Bridwell)
You know how much music means to me from this blog… Hopefully you know how much my Grandmother meant to me… and will continue to mean…
So these tunes… these words… these ideas are so very powerful… and the fact they are coming to me precisely when they are is beyond my brain to ponder…
Thank you for the music… thank you for the strength and the faith… the Emuna…
I need to be… We all just need to be… Open… take it all in… and let it fill our loving cup.
103 years… 103 tears… probably a lot more… And I will always love you.
I know it was just an oil slick on the rain-soaked pavement, but as I got into my parents car at the airport, there on the ground were several rainbows…
Goodbye GG… and hello. From one world to the next and always by my side. I will love you forever… for as long as I live and beyond.