Another Christmas has come and gone. I made it through.
Everything Christmas past is packed up and stowed away. Resting until this year flies by with lightening speed and I will again take out those boxes and say right out loud: “Hey, didn’t I just do this? Doesn’t is seem like yesterday that I took all this down?”
It won’t be long until it all rolls around again. I wonder if it will be easier next year.
The decorations aren’t so hard. No, it’s the Songs of Christmas are still hard to hear.
I think that for the grieving, almost all music hurts a little. I am not too sure why. Maybe it’s the intensity of it. Music is created to interpret and conjure up feeling. And listen, I am a walking, living, breathing — churning cauldron of feeling these days. Yes, I would say that is the reason it is hard for me to listen to music at times.
I don’t need a reminder that I should feel.
It’s remarkable to me how music is attached to memories. I can hear a song and am immediately transported back in time to a circumstance in my life. It’s as if the song has a magic wand attached to it that grants me a wish of reliving. I can be taken back to an event from childhood years, family gatherings, a first kiss, a wedding. Milestones and life events are often intimately entangled in this or that song.
In fact, each decade has its own style. It’s own kind of banner hanging over it with the popularity of music played on the Top 40 radio.
I’ll bet if you stopped right now and a song came to your head, you could assign it an event in your life. Good or bad.
Music of the seventies and eighties is possibly the most powerful for me. It was during those decades that I was really growing up. Trying to find my way. My son was born on the tail end of the seventies.
When I hear music from these decades…well, it does something to me. Puts me right back into the day and time when my son was alive and we were both trying to figure things out together. The memory is more than in my imagination. I am there. Right there with him.
And it’s the darndest thing. Why is it that walking through the grocery store is like walking down memory lane? The music over the intercom is enough to do me in. Right there in the aisles between the cans of tomatoes and ethnic foods. I’m guessing seventies and eighties music is played because it’s mostly Baby Boomers who shop.
I think of all music combined, Christmas music brings to mind most memories. It’s set up that way. Tucked away a day or so after and brought out again right about Thanksgiving. It’s in a category all its own.
Creating a sensory overload. Christmases past can be seen, smelled, heard, touched…all with the first playing of a song.
It’s all about the birth of a baby. One very special, one of a kind Holy Baby. The idea of a child being born, especially a firstborn son, well…that strikes a chord in me bone marrow deep. And the idea that Momma Mary knew and understood the pain and sorrow of that precious, first-born baby boy as he died? Oh, man.
It’s just too much.
I cannot ever equate myself to such a miraculous and beautiful story. But I do believe Mary and I have a few human things in common. I bet we Mommas could compare a few notes.
After Christmas is over and the music stops, there’s a lull in the week between then and the New Year. A stretch of a few quiet days.
Then on New Year’s Eve…at the stroke of midnight…a familiar but who-truly-understands kind of song is sung all over the world. I have never really liked the song, never really got the meaning of it. Mainly, if I ever sang it, I did it because that was the thing to do.
One could think of it as a drinking song. A reason to raise a glass and toast to a New Year.
I did a little study on that familiar, but who-knows song.
Auld Lang Syne.
Long, long ago. Old long since.
Days gone by.
The idea of the Robert Burns poem put to song is that we look back over the years and remember. Should days gone by be forgotten? Should old friendships and relationships be put aside?
I know it will get better, but it’s hard for days to go by since Michael died. I don’t want to put time and distance between it and now. I want to remember it fresh and new as if it just happened.
“Hey, didn’t I just do this? Doesn’t is seem like yesterday…?”
I want to preserve it all somehow. Keep it all close to my heart and mind and never allow it to be forgotten.
As much as I know I have to. I don’t want to remember the old and move forward into the new. Because all of the old is gone. Just like that.
Someday, my son’s story will be a long, long ago one.
As I looked up the words to the entire song, I found the following verses.
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.
And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.
But seas between us broad have roared.
I’m tossed about in that sea just now. The one that stretches broad between the two of us.
But Son, here’s my heart in my hand. Take my hand. It will never let you go.
It won’t be long until time rolls around. Someday all of this pain and sorrow will be a distant memory. We’ll be together again then. One day we will both look back on this story and Praise God I survived it.
Raise our glasses filled with all this salty sea water turned into sweet wine and finally understand.
For Auld Lang Syne, my dear, For Auld Lang Syne.