Music has always had the utmost significance to me, Jay and our boys. I have the distinguished honor of having had a song composed for me by Jay entitled “Wanda’s Song”. It is an instrumental and so the words remain unwritten. At one point, Jared suggested that I give it some lyrics and I have considered it. However, the title would need to be changed as it would be Jay’s and my song. I must say, it is one of my greatest treasures! As a guitarist, mostly self taught, Jay played out in coffee houses during college with a friend, Nick, who I have never met.
During the college years, Jay had very little extra money (in fact probably safe to say “none”), so he decided we should send audio cassette tapes back and forth as talking on the phone long distance would be expensive. In going through some items, I rediscovered those tapes. Yet another one of my greatest treasures! So, on our wedding anniversary of December 16th, I had a date with my beloved& listened to his voice from so long ago, so young. When both Jared and Christian asked me what I did that day, I told them I had a date with their father. The dead silence on the other end of the phone indicated that they probably thought I’d finally lost it!
Anyway, there are three sections of those tapes that stand out and touch me to the core. One is that he beautifully professes his love and desire for me. The second is that he has no money and he needs to figure out a way to make money to give me a wonderful life that he feels I deserve. (Thank you sweetheart, you did an amazing job!) And the third is a jam session with Nick of “Wanda’s Song”. I also have my song on a CD that Jay & Jared recorded for a Christmas gift to me in 2008.
Jay was never big on dancing in the beginning of our lives together, although a few drinks could be the catalyst to get him moving. However, as time passed, he became more comfortable in that arena. I will always remember being at an office Christmas party and it was Jay’s idea to get me out on the dance floor. The song was “All I Want” by Toad the Wet Sprocket and it will always be in my heart. Key phrases are “All I want is to feel this way, to be this close, to feel the same, allI want is to feel this way, the evening speaks, I feel it say…”
During Jay’s stay in ICU, my sacred song was “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt. The whole song says it all and it is beautiful but the beginning goes like this:
When the road gets dark, And you can no longer see Just let my love throw a spark, And have a little faith in me And when the tears you cry, Are all you can believe Just give these loving arms a try, And have a little faith in me
After Jay was out of ICU but still in the hospital, I would hear “Windows Are Rolled Down” by Amos Lee as I drove to and from the hospital. Lyrics that hit me hard are:
Windows are rolled down, sun is setting high
Windows are rolled down, I’m fixing to die.
Windows are rolled down, moon is hanging low
Windows are rolled down, Think it’s time for me to go
The day that Jay passed, I was surrounded by some family and friends. I had music television on and found my new anthem after hearing “Fill Me Up” by Shawn Colvin. So this was my plea to Jay & God to give me strength to survive this! When I think of home, it is synonymous with Jay.
Fill me up, fill me up, I’m a long way from home and I don’t have a lot to say
Fill me up, fill me up, cause you’re all that I’ve got and I’ve traveled a long, long way
Cheer me up, cheer me up, cause I’m all alone and I’m taking it day by day
Cheer me up, cheer me up, cause you’re all that I’ve got and I’ve traveled a long, long way
And I know where you live, I know who you are, so don’t get too close, & don’t go too far
Don’t get too close, and promise me that you’ll never go too far, never go too far
Below are snippets of several songs that provide inspiration for me.
“Someday” by Rob Thomas
You can go, you can start all over again
You could try to find a way to make another day go by
You can hide, hold all your feelings inside
You could try to carry on when all you wanna do is cry
And maybe someday we’ll figure all this out.
Try to put an end to all our doubt
And try to find a way to make things better now that
Maybe someday we’ll live our lives out loud
We’ll be better off somehow, someday
“One Day You Will” by Lady Antebellum
You feel like you’re falling backwards. Like you’re slippin’ through the cracks
Like no one would even notice If you left this town and never came back You walk outside and all you see is rain. You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can’t see it now. But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there’s a silver lining, Just keep holding on(Just keep holding on)
Finally my playlist concludes with “Guardian”. I have had many troublesome days but one day was unbelievably difficult ~ I was the most distraught I have ever been. I went to bed but awoke in the middle of the night with panic and distress. I decided to turn on the TV and when I turned to the music channel, I heard “All I Want”followed by “Guardian”. I don’t think the sign could have been any clearer. So Jay continues to be my guardian and I think I am a full time job for him!
“Guardian” by Alanis Morissette
I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian
I’ll be your warrior of care your first warden
I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand
The greatest honor of all, as your guardian.
Music helps me get through the day, through the deafening quiet. I had the opportunity to make it to Musikfest 5 times and quite frankly, I am currently going through withdrawal!!! It was an absolute blast and I was blessed with two very special occasions. Thanks Jan & Greg for treating me to the Huey Lewis/Joe Cocker concert and Kay & Don for treating me to the Goo Goo Dolls concert! Both were awesome! The wide variety of other artists to choose from was a huge bonus. I stayed in the South Side where the Steel Stacks are located and parts of the street were blocked off. So yes, I was “dancing in the streets” with and without a partner! I have found it very therapeutic and a great form of exercise. Over the last several months, I am getting out dancing almost every Friday evening with Linda & Judy, who I refer to as the dancing queens!
Last night, a friend hosted a fundraiser for the Levitt Pavilion. Great job, Victor, thanks for including me. It was terrific to see so many people I haven’t seen in a long time and to enjoy the Doo Wop Project. I had the pleasure of a very special dance with James. He is a beautiful 6 month old and his delightful parents left me a steal a dance with him. It was a win for me and win for them. In the midst of our dance I told them that I have a gorgeous 4 month old granddaughter, just lost my husband in September and this is the best dance I’ve had in a long time! It did all of our hearts good! Those experiences are just a small token of what we all need to celebrate in our lives.
Music evokes so much emotion. I can be crying or rejoicing through song at any given moment but I vow to continue to dance through it all. I know that’s what Jay would want and expect from me!