Today I need to be heavy.
If I said to you, this is the last song you’ll hear before you die, what would you choose? I am reflecting very much lately because the last time I spoke to my Dad was three years ago today. It was opening day for the Red Sox and we were watching the game from his hospital room. I left at 9:30pm to pick up my sister from the airport. We got to the hospital at 11:15pm and 35 minutes later he was gone. I thank my lucky stars that we had that moment with him. We were by his side with his last breath. He needed us there as much as I needed to be there. We were best friends. We had a father/daughter bond that was unbreakable and an unconditional love only that relationship can understand.
My Dad loved music. Passionately. There are people that love music and there are people that truly love and breath music. My Dad was one of those people. He would belt out Sinatra at the drop of a hat and would dance his heart out to Stevie Wonder. He was an incredible singer and dancer. We shared many favorite things but we would always talk about, listen and dance to music together.
You’re never ready to lose a parent. You always think there is so much time and you’ll be ready (or old enough to handle it) when your parents die. I’ll tell you now from experience, it never truly gets "easy". That hole in your heart is there. Constantly. You miss that person, want to call them and tell them something so exciting (or not) that just happened. This void has consumed my life and heart for three years. It has dragged by but at the same time it has flown by because I look at my daughter and say to myself “wow, you were eighteen months old when Grandpa died". My daughter is six months from turning FIVE. That blows my mind. Luckily, my son still remembers my Dad and we talk about him all the time as if he was still here. That is so important to me, I need my kids to know and love their Grandpa.
I turn to music so much to be close to my Dad. I remember taking him to see Tony Bennett at the Boston Symphony for his 60th birthday. It was a night I will never forget. He was so happy to have that night with me, I know it was one of his favorite memories (and we have many!). We had an amazing time and well, it was Tony Bennett singing like he was 40 when he was actually 75. Amazing.
So, if I’m feeling sad, I listen to Tony Bennett to remember that night. Or I turn up the speakers so loud and dance to “Sign, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder because we used to get down to that song. And sometimes, I listen and cry to "Summer Wind" by Frank Sinatra because my Dad's voice comes through in that song I heard him sing so many times. I wish I had known what song my Dad wanted on in those last minutes because I sure would have played it for him. I have a feeling it would have been “I've Got You Under My Skin” by Sinatra or any song by Diana Krall.
Sometimes (not often) I may get heavy on here. I hope this post helps even one person cope with losing someone. Did your loved one enjoy music and have that song? Play it, cry, dance or just reminisce about the memories with that person. It truly helps, I promise.
My Dad, above, singing Sinatra on his 65th birthday.
Peace and love,
This post was written on March 31st.