Bringing the Music Back

Posted by Danny

Our nightly ritual for bed for Michelle and Stephanie is reading a book and saying our prayers.  After we prayed tonight, it dawned on me that a very important part of our routine had been lost.  We used to sing a song every night after prayers.  When Lisa got sick, we stopped singing.  I’d thought about it before, but just didn’t have it in me to sing.  I still just stare at the cross during hymns at church, unable to participate as I used to because the emotions just take over.  Today as I was riding to work, I cried to Earth, Wind and Fire’s song “September”.  You know something’s wrong with you when you cry to “September”.  It is not an emotional tune!  What is it about music?

I began to recall our favorite bedtime tunes:

“Frogs Jump, caterpillers hump (hang with me here), worms wiggle, bugs jiggle, rabbits hop, horses clop, snakes slide, seagulls glide…”  My mom taught it to me when I was a kid.  I however added my own flare – kids sitting on my stomach as I hopped, wiggled and jiggled them as the verses moved on.  My favorite was near the end “deer leap” – I’d say dear and then close my eyes and count to 15 or 20 in my head, not moving a muscle.  Then I’d lunge my hands toward their bellies in a surprise attack. They’d get so nervous during that 15 seconds that I was afraid one day I’d get peed on.  I can remember the same anxious pit in my stomach when my dad would pull a similar stunt on me.

Another favorite song was in two parts – it combined a strong allelujah chorus with the verses “Jesus Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace”. Another that tears me up.  Of course we’d sing the Bologna song too:

My My My Bologna has a first name

It It It It’s O S C A R

An old YMCA favorite.

It made me sad that the music was gone.  So, I decided to pull out a golden oldie from my Bible School days:  Ah la la la la, la la  le lu jah followed by verses that you make up:  Scratch another back scratch a back next to ya, or tickle under arm under arm next to ya.

There was a bit of laughter, although Stephanie refused to participate until we got through the under arm verse.  Sometimes we may sing and cry all at the same time.  But I think it may be time to bring that tradition back.

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  1. Mel Ham

     /  January 12, 2011

    I promise not to respond to every blog….but I have my favorite is you can’t hide love. Kinda fitting for ya ain’t it fluffy…YOU CAN’T hide LOVE…

  2. ThunderBear

     /  January 12, 2011

    Good thing I have a membership to COSTCO because at the rate I’m “blowing” through Kleenex I need to buy even more in bulk! If this is the pre-cursor to the book–I hope to be the first in line at your book signing!! I’ll never be able to listen to September again without thinking of you and Lisa (but a wonderful thought to have). You guys have me hanging on your every word.

  3. Edie

     /  January 13, 2011

    Hi, Bruce! Susan V. shared your blog with me…..your posting today spoke to me, so just a quick note…..

    Anyway, it’s funny how grief speaks through music….I lost an energetic grandmother/best friend on 21st of September. Although, she was much older than Lisa, it made me sad. So, I thought that song would make me sad, too, since it was one of my all time favs…..however, surprisingly it didn’t. But, the song that did send me over the edge was 100 Years, by Five for Fighting…just riding down the road one day.

    Yes, hymns have at one point made me “teary” aka blubbering idiot… will pass.

    Lastly, speaking as a cool aunt, I too would move in to help. Actually, did a loooong time ago. However, I bet Uncle Jesse wouldn’t change a thing….it’s a gift that you AND he both wouldn’t trade.

    Hope these thoughts help!

  4. Melanie Walker

     /  January 13, 2011

    This smacks of “the Sound of Music.” The hills are alive…

    • Exactly what I thought…Bruce just had his Capt. Von Trapp, walking in the room, singing “I call to the hills…” moment.

  5. Helen LaVere

     /  January 13, 2011

    “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”


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