"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Friday, August 12, 2011
Lately I have been listening to 97.3, BOOM. It is a good mix of 70's, 80's and 90's music. They play alot of Duran Duran and Alanis Morrisette, but I hear alot of songs that I haven't heard in a long time.
The other day, I was driving around with the kids, just cruising and listening to the radio. "Beautiful Day" by U2 came on.
I am not really a U2 fan. I don't dislike them, I am just not a raving lunatic for them, like some people I know. I like some of their older stuff, like from Joshua Tree. That's the stuff I heard when I was younger.
But Beautiful Day is different.
About 11 years, my family went through a really hard time. The worst that we have ever weathered. Some of you know, some of you don't and that's fine. I will spoil the ending for you- everything turns out ok. From the view of a decade later, I can honestly say that even though it was one of the worst things I have ever lived through, it was also something that saved our family. I don't know where we would be, if it hadn't happened. I think he would have been lost to us, very possibly literally. But as it is, he is with us, alive and well, and I am so happy and grateful for it.
One day, I was driving home from work. Geoff and I were living on Glenholme at the time, and had just moved in that May. I was still working at the Parks, and I think Geoff was at Dufferin Games. I was driving home, hardly concentrating on the road, just caught up in thoughts and wishes and hopes. I actually enjoyed being at work, because it gave me something different to think about. For 8 hours, I could pretend that all was well. Some nights, I dreaded going home.
As I was driving that night, a song came on the radio.
"The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground..."
I don't usually hear the words to songs. Not at first. It's the tune that catches me, the melody. Something catchy, melancholy, haunting. Something about the music is what I hear first.
But in this case, I heard the words. And I understood. It's about having the worst day of your life, and still knowing that it was a beautiful day. About how bad it can get, and still seeing all the good.
Right then and there, I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would never again cry over what was happening. I knew there was more to come, and that it could get worse, much worse. But I wasn't gonna cry. I was going to look for my beautiful day. I was going to cling to what was wonderful and the gifts that I still had. I could see him, talk to him. He wasn't dead. Nothing is final. Hope is everything.
So, from that day to this, I haven't cried about it. Oh sure, I might get misty or well up when I talk about it. I don't talk about it often. I think I have only told a handful of people about it, that weren't present in my life at the time. I'm not saying that it doesn't shake me to the core when I think about what might have been. But I don't cry. No sobs, no heartbreak. Not since that day.
So, whenever I hear this song, I am back there. In the car. Heartsick, but still having a beautiful day.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nostalgia".