Gifts don’t make me nostalgic; events, people and places make me nostalgic.
However, nothing can make me conjure up long lost memories like music. Happy times, sad times, living life times – even era music can make me think back to different situations in my life.
I lost my father 8 1/2 years ago to mesothelioma. It was a horrifying, painful, cruel death for a man who lived life with vibrancy, compassion for others and love for his family. He was my best friend, my rock, the one person in my life who truly loved me unconditionally. I still weep at the loss of something so precious to me.
After he passed away, there were a number of songs that would make me cry. Eric Clapton’s “My Father’s Eyes” would send me into fits of sobbing. A song as innocuous as Glass Tiger’s “My Town” would make me well up (it mentions “Scotia” and my dad was from Nova Scotia).
There are many others that make me think of my dad – however – “In the Living Years” – a song from the 80’s, by Mike and the Mechanics is the one song that to this day, makes me start blubbering like a baby. It made me think of that poor man who lost his dad without ever having a chance to make amends and say goodbye.
Never in a million years did I think that song would ‘happen’ to me.
I never got the chance to say goodbye to my father; he passed away the day after a routine surgery, after not waking up from anaesthetic. I hate that I never got to say ‘goodbye dad, I love you’.
For the past 8 1/2 years, every time that song came on the radio, I’d turn it off. I just couldn’t listen to it. The other songs I’ve mentioned, while still making me feel a bit maudlin, no longer make me out and out cry.
I was out this weekend, enjoying our first real weekend of spring. I remembered how beautiful our yard always was when I was a kid, dad out mowing the lawn at 7:00 am (the neighbours hated him), the flowers just so and the trees pruned within an inch of their lives.
I was just pulling into the garden shop where I was going to buy my own flowers for the season and I heard it. The opening chords to THAT song. I reached over to switch it off, but instead – instead I sat in the parking lot and listened to it from start to finish. I’m not going to tell you that I sat there stoically and listened to it and hopped out of my vehicle to carry on. No, I sat there, listening to the words, with some tears – remembering my dad and that even though I never had the chance to say goodbye, I realized that I didn’t have to – because he is always with me, in my heart and in my soul.