Erin's Journals

Monday, August 31, 2020

Just a thought… Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory. [Percy Shelley]

Welcome to the last day of August. Ah, September. What unfamiliar feelings the next few weeks will bring: fear and uncertainty (and not about the usual “back-to” stuff) instead of anticipation and relief.

As areas across the country decide on how to move forward with students and education, we can only try to do what’s best for our individual families while listening to the informed scientists and people who respect facts more than feelings. (Right now we’re waiting for word on Colin’s registration to find out what our area is recommending and whether he is, indeed, enrolled at the school just down the hill from us.)

I can’t say I’m counting down to him being in class every day, but for purely selfish reasons: we’re having a blast spending time with him. Friday night was his first solo sleepover with us. We had popcorn and watched Disney’s Pinocchio (we try him on a different classic every movie night, choosing films we nearly wore out on the VCR way back when) and then shared pancakes and BC blueberries for breakfast, followed by a day of play both indoors and out.

It’s pure joy and I am practically blue from pinching myself. So is Rob. There are moments when I turn to him and say, “What are you doing right now?” and he answers, “I’m sitting watching a movie with my grandson.” Or, “We’re driving in our car with our grandson.”

Our family is settling in nicely just a few minutes down the road; but I have to tell you something that happened as we left their house last week, on their first evening in their new place.

We said our near-teary good-byes, got in the car and set out for the short drive home. I put on the Beatles Channel on Sirius XM as I’m always hoping that Lauren will send us a song to let us know she’s with us and she didn’t disappoint. After enjoying the last refrains of a Ringo cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away,” we heard “The Long and Winding Road.” 

Most everyone will know why the lyrics are so poignant: “Many times I’ve been alone, and many times I’ve cried…anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried….” “You left me standing here a long, long time ago…” and “lead me to your door…” to quote just a few; I was left near tears (again) as the sweet strains of this Beatles classic played us home, to our door.

The next day as I reflected on the perfection of that piece, I asked Google to play it for me again and that’s when things got really interesting. “The Long and Winding Road” played and then, after the briefest of pauses, it went into another Beatles song – one that we would sing in the past, often changing the lyrics from “Here Comes the Sun” to “here comes her son.” So, okay, that was a lovely nudge too. And there was more to come.

The following tune was the same one that I edited to play with a video we posted of my first meeting with Colin in the hours after he was born in 2014. John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” is on my phone and I would often play it on my walks when he was on my mind (so, yeah, a lot). I thought that was lovely and that’s when Rob, who I didn’t know was hearing all of this, commented, “Wow.” But our divine DJ wasn’t done yet.

Next song was from the Beach Boys: the very selection that our producer Ian played as I danced with my radio partners and husband on the way out of that Casa Loma ballroom during my final CHFI show in December 2016, “God Only Knows.”

We finally turned off the music as James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is” came on next. I didn’t want our special playlist to end, but thought that I’d taken up enough of Lauren’s time. I said a quiet “thank you” and went on with our busy Thursday.

As I sipped my coffee on the deck Saturday morning, Colin at our side eating his pancakes, I almost said under my breath to her, “Your work is done here, honey.” But I stopped myself. It never will be and I hope she’s always by our side – all of our sides – as we make our way through this life together, this long and winding road.

Have a beautiful day and if I haven’t written back to you about the Dianne Raynor chat, I’m getting to your email, I promise. As of last night the video link was still up (contrary to the 48 hour limit I’d been told about) so if you want to watch it, please do. You’ll find a link here.

Thank you for coming by and I’ll be back with you here on Thursday. Be safe, please keep wearing your mask. For all our sakes.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, August 31, 2020