Seems there were places to be, things to do, all weekend long; yet when it comes right down to it, I’m hard pressed to tell you what, exactly, was accomplished.
I did take the time to celebrate my grandmother. These things are important, you know. I say this for my own benefit, if no one else’s. I’m blessed with two grandmothers living in the same town, and yet I rarely see one. Life gets busy, the days blur. And it’s a tad too easy to chalk it up as no big deal, just another “Hallmark” holiday.
But here’s the thing: any day that reminds us to love on a loved one, seems a mighty fine holiday, indeed.
Speaking of which, on this day in 1956, Record stores across the U.S. were overtaken with overwrought teenagers, looking for Love Me Tender, by Elvis Presley. Sadly for them, it had yet to be released. Lucky for us, fifty-some years later we continue to take it to our hearts.
As a matter of fact, it was only a few months ago, during the memorial service for my great-aunt and uncle, that my second cousin pulled out his guitar and informed us his sister told him to sing some good old rock n’ roll. Being more folksy in nature, he was none too keen on the idea. She suggested Elvis; he thought about it. Finally, he had to admit, his older sister just might be right. So, there he sat, strumming his guitar, singing Love Me Tender . . . ‘to my mom and dad, and all those we love.’
In honor of the frenzy of ’56, it seems a good day to listen to the King himself. Then, after we’re done, perhaps we can get in touch with a loved one–a grandparent or parent, a sibling or a friend–just to let them know, You have made my life complete, and I love you so.
The first two songs I learned to sing were Jesus Loves Me . . .
Jesus Love me
this I know
for the Bible
tells me so.
And The Gambler . . .
You gotta know when to hold ’em,
know when to fold ’em,
know when to walk away,
know when to run.
You never count your money
when you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting
when the dealin’s done.
Genius, really. After all, what more do you need to know as you set out on this grand adventure called life?
From that auspicious beginning, however, my music selections faltered a bit. My mom, trying to fit in with the holy roller set, did go through an elevator music phase. Even she will admit it was a low point–lucky for us all, one short lived. Perhaps it was still too traumatizing and I blacked out several years, I don’t know. What I do know is this: no one singer, group, or song stands out from around the age of three to my teenage years.
And then I heard Whitney Houston.
I wanted so badly to be able to sing with such emotion; since I couldn’t, I learned to lip sync to perfection. For many years, her music served the soundtrack of my life.
So it should come as no surprise that a piece of my heart broke with the news of her death.
I’m sad she didn’t make it. I’m sad for her mama and daughter–having had my own friends and family who couldn’t outrun their troubles, I know how difficult it is to say goodbye. I pray they all find peace.
Yet, despite it all, it was Whitney’s music that managed to lift my spirits. You see, I didn’t have time to read message boards or watch tributes. I had a tight deadline on a very tedious project. The only thing that got me through was singing I love the Lord . . . and Queen of the Night (yeah, I don’t know–apparently, I haven’t changed that much).
So yes, I do believe Whitney Houston’s voice was a gift to us all–and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to experience it.
And, as death is wont to do, I’m thankful for the reminder: to live each day with intent. To keep a firm foundation. To temper the bad with the good. To use our talent while we still have breath. To love the Lord–and all those he places in our lives–with all our heart, each and every day . . .
Must be the day of the baby–seems every time I turn around, someone’s announcing the arrival of a new little someone to love. From the moment I heard the latest, this song has been looping in my mind . . .
Not a bad song to have on replay. And today’s not a bad day to lounge about, listen to music, maybe eat a bonbon or two, plan an adventure, and think of those you love, near and far.
At the very least, listen to a song posted on a blog, and take a moment or two to dream.
On this day – in 1887 – Mr. Emile Berliner filed for a patent for his invention of the lateral-cut, flat-disk gramophone. Well, La-dee-da, you say! And I should guess – it’s the record player to us, my friends. Sure, the sound may not have been the best. But there’s something about that crackle that sparks a bit of romance. Perhaps it’s the history, a nostalgia for a simpler time. Perhaps it’s the sound, music in it’s rawest form. Whatever the reason, I dare say it’s proof that imperfect, may very well be perfect in its own right …