Tag Archives: music

Up on the last day

On the way to your funeral, I wondered if there was more I could have done? We’d talked and had some nice moments these last few years but the adrenal cancer took you quickly. Did I do enough these final weeks? Were you in pain with that labored breathing? I was thinking too much as I drove. I turned on the radio to quiet my thoughts and help let you go.

A song started that I’d never heard before that moment. Kenny Chesney explained with Better Boat. I felt like I had some answers and started to cry.

I don’t even listen to country music though; why was my radio on that station?

I changed the setting back to soft rock and continued driving West. I smiled into my rear view as I listened to the lyrics of Stairway to Heaven. “There walks a lady who shines white light.” It did make me wonder…

Of course you bought your way to heaven. You were a sweet, compassionate woman. I knew you were headed to the pearly gates, despite any of those feisty teenage stories you shared. These were my thoughts as I recognized the new song. The Man, Portugal, was singing and I laughed out loud when I remembered you were a teenager in 1966. Feel It Still explained you were a “rebel just for kicks”. You and I sang our way into the Funeral Home parking lot.

Your sense of humor was alive and well as I went in to say goodbye.

Your brother and his family were all there. Your cousins were by your side, Diane greeted us and your co-workers lined the room, spanning your years of service. The priest spoke about the volunteering you did in your retirement. The service was sweet and full of camaraderie.

But I guess you knew all that, since you were there.

We went to our cars to await the drive to the cathedral and cemetery. I settled into my vehicle and turned the radio back on. Pretty Mama was the celebratory song while waiting in the line of cars. I hoped you would dance with your Daddy. God would take your hand now.

Enough was enough though. They carried you out and you were now in the vehicle in front of us. There was no DJ with a response to that.

I shut off the radio and pushed in one of my own CD’s to drown out where we were headed. I’d forgotten that my car CD was Rock-and-Roll – my KISS CD. Thinking it may not be appropriate, I almost pushed it back out. Almost. It was a very fitting solo. Paul Stanley sang Goodbye all the way to your final mass.

You were there, in your old neighborhood, that whole morning. I believe it. God speaks to us in so many ways.

I know now that there wasn’t more I could have done. I’d listened. That was enough. Thank you for letting me hear your final play list.

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Alexa – Part II

My husband enjoys a traditional late breakfast with his mother and brother on Sunday mornings. Before he leaves, he watches an oil painting show upstairs while I putter around with writing or light housekeeping downstairs.

I usually like a quiet house but I decided to reconcile with the other woman.

“Alexa, play Adam Lambert.”

I can’t find music by Adam Lambert in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

Yeah, I love Adam as much as the first guy but I wasn’t dishing out any cash unless I was at his concert, so I tried again:

“Alexa, play Cher.”

I can’t find music by Cher in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

“Alexa, play Bette Midler.”

It was like a broken echo Dot. Skipping and repeating…dot, dot, dot

Okay, okay, I got it. The bitch wanted money and a playlist before she’d grace me with any of my favorite tunes.

Making the requests was easy enough though, so I didn’t stop there. I tried to generalize:

“Alexa, play good music.”

I don’t have any good music to play.

Really? Great Marketing you Amazon chickiepoo.

“Alexa, play classical.”

Turns out Alexa didn’t have any Concertos or Royal Parade music, so she honed in on the root word “classic” and started playing classic rock.

…from Richie’s playlist. He and Alexa are quite the pair now. I was trying to listen to something different for a change.

Richie came down the stairs with a chuckle as I gave in and said, “Alexa, play Allman Brothers.”

Richie seemed pleased with my working selection as he headed out the door to meet his family. He thinks it’s funny that he has the app and I’m ready to kick Alexa’s ass.

I listened to the classics that are so well known in this house and started to make myself a nice breakfast. As I cracked the eggs for my French toast, Alexa interrupted with a bulletin.

Reminder: Donna is a dumbass.

Alexa was mean-spirited and enjoyed saying it. Richie, on the other hand, was humorously telling me to catch up with the technological times. I knew he was laughing in his Jeep.

I begrudgingly grinned from ear-to-ear and cracked up with my egg shells. I was charmed to know he still thinks of me so creatively when he’s gone. After all these years he certainly knows how to push my buttons. I soaked my French toast, set the table for one and hit Alexa’s off button. I had some writing to do in my quiet house.

The Sound of Music

“When the Lord closes a door…” 

The motion is a slam, and the view is through pains of glass, but renewed spirit will breeze through the screen

“Somewhere he opens a window…”

A Stella(r) Day 

Day 11 – A.M. (2)

In  one of my prior entries,  I explained why the start of my commuter routine was not exactly routine. The rest of my morning travel supported that conclusion. I was so busy expressing myself in writing that I forgot I was on the Express. I wasn’t listening for my stop. When I noticed how many people were lined up next to my seat, to file off the train, I realized we were already at Porter Square.

I jumped up, and with the fire lit under my ass, ran down all 150 steps into the subway. I caught my breathe only to have it taken away by the musician of the day.

(So much happens in the city that I haven’t even written about what I will term “The Porter Square Players”.  Monday was a guitarist playing A Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. I remember because I wondered how far I was below sea level at this deep subway station. Yesterday there was a saxophonist but the subway car was already in the station, so we jumped right on without appreciating all his Jazz.)

Today we had to wait three minutes for the next train. Or, should I say,  I had to get to work instead of staying for the fabulous violin concert. Commuters are in their own world and usually just face the tracks with their back toward the street players. This tiny young Asian woman, in her short shift dress and 4 inch white go-go platform shoes (so appropriate for the setting), was putting on a show. I didn’t care where I was, she had my full attention. I faced her with my back to the subway rails. She was hooked to an amp playing I’m not even sure what. It was a fast up-tempo classical rock that I’ve never heard. Slowly, others turned around too and I started to wonder if I was amongst a flash mob. She performed on the platform like it was her stage. She felt the music. So did we. Change and bills went into her case in the minute that followed. She ended her repertoire with the trains arrival.  Applause, smiles and review chatter went into tunnel. Something you don’t always see and hear but Boston does support their own.

———————–

At Providence Street, I was happier than ever to give my granola bar to Scott.

Yesterday I’d asked his name.

Homeless people shouldn’t remain nameless too.

His dirty toothless smile made me smile too.


 

My morning was looking up after the backpack trouble I had boarding the train.


 

Day 11 –  P.M.

My breath was taken away on the commute home too. When I arrived in Porter Square, just before the hour, there was no time to lose. I was on the verge of missing the commuter train. Passing the elevator and escalator, I ran the 150 steps to get to ground level and listen for the train. It’s arrival was hard to hear over my heavy breathing but I did make it. I just needed to catch my breath.

What are you running towards today?

Young at heart

“I’ve always loved being a tomboy.

What you see, is what you get.”

 

“I don’t want to be the next anything.

I want to be the first me.”

Avalon Young

She ‘served’ it up to me. She’s only 21 but she’s an American Idol contender.

You go, tomgirl!

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