Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Song Remembers When

July 24th, 2008 marked five years since the passing of our beloved John. This is a family portrait taken in December 2002, a year after my mom and stepdad, John, got married. After being a family fragmented by divorce for so many years, I remember a feeling of completeness after John came into our lives. To see my mom so happy and so well loved somehow brought me an unexpected sense of security. John also opened his arms to my sister and me and treated us as his own daughters. He would spoil us with homemade cinnamon toast, always had a hug for us, and he loved just hanging out and talking. He believed in me and my acting dreams--he's the one who nicknamed me "Starshine".

Yesterday in my car, I was listening to my Kristin Chenoweth CD--to a country cover song she sings called "The Song Remembers When", originally sung by Trisha Yearwood. It tells a beautiful story about a woman who hears a song on the radio one day that brings back memories of the past that she had all but forgotten. The song reawakened her soul to a time she had left behind. In the chorus, she sings, "Even if the whole world has forgetten, the song remembers when."

That got me thinking about how a certain song can take you back to a moment and lift the haze off of it so fast, you feel like you're right there again. And then I started to think about those moments in my life that were accompanied by a song. Moments that may have been nearly forgotten. Or moments that will fade and die with me. Moments that only the song will remember long after I'm gone.

As I drove along thinking about it, tears started to roll down my cheeks as I remembered John's last night on earth. Lots of people were at the hospital, holding vigil with our family. It got late, though, and around 11:45 pm, all of our friends left to go home. Mom, Jilly and I went into John's room, and we could see that his vitals were getting weaker and weaker (he had been in a coma for a few days). We knew that he was not long for this world. Mom climbed into the hospital bed and cuddled with him, and Jilly and I stood next to the bed. At 12:01 am, just as the new day was beginning, John went home to be with the Lord. The three of us spontaneously began to sing the doxology:

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him, above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

It was a holy moment. 

John, I can't believe that you've been gone for five years. God gave us a wonderful gift in you. We only wish our time with you would have lasted longer. Your song still resonates in my heart. 


J at said...

There's a radio station here that sometimes plays what they call 'sledgehammers', which are songs that people call in and request, saying, 'this song takes me right back to such and such time'. It's fun to hear people's stories.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm tearing up about your mom climbing into bed with John to say goodbye. I wish I had known my mom was leaving me, because I would have done the same thing. Instead, I just left to go home. I have thought many times over these last 6 weeks that I wish I had known, so I could have said goodbye. Last night, I dreamt that I got to say goodbye the way I wanted to, with big long hugs and all of that. I woke up feeling refreshed.

Ana L. said...

One of your best posts! Thank you once again for sharing.

Glad you and B are ok after the earthquake!

Sharon said...

John was a shining light to everyone he met and I still keep the card he and your mom wrote tied to the ficus tree they gave me at my housewarming so that I can remember when....

Autumn's Mom said...

A beautiful song..I'm glad you had John in your life. He really seemed to make such a big impact in all your lives :)


Dana Cheryl said...

Those holy moments are so rare and precious. Thank you for sharing it with us. I can feel the power of that moment.

Big hugs!

Saucy said...

And to think... you even met her! Thinking of you,