Monday, March 2, 2015

To My Mom Part V: Music

I was working on making my mom a playlist for her to listen to while she was taking chemo. Once a month, she would have a long chemo session where they would pump in something that would help strengthen her bones. This would usually be an hour to an hour and a half session. So I wanted to make her something that she could listen to while they pumped chemicals into her port.

I never finished it. I only got five songs on it before she passed away. Now don't get offended but I called it "fuck cancer". I wasn't going to label it that when I gave it to her. But it is what it is labeled in my itunes. I was listening to the radio in my car when I heard an old U2 song and I immediately thought, "this would be a perfect song for mom, I need to make her a playlist." Well that one U2 song was the only song on the list for a very long time. I had a hard time finding other songs. What I find as inspiring songs and what I thought my mom would find inspiring songs are two very different things. Somehow I don't thing she would enjoy Rage Against The Machine.

Well, here are the 5 songs I did find:

One Tree Hill by U2

Adiemus by Adiemus

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz

Strong by London Grammar


On the rare occasions that I was the one driving her to the chemo center, she would listen to one of two cd's that someone had given her. They were religious cd's. (Discovery Singers and Haven Quartet) Many of the songs I remember singing in church. They helped calm her nerves. I knew she was anxious, when she would ask me to turn it up. Sometimes, I'd be in the back jumper seat of the truck while dad was driving her to an appointment that she wanted me to go to as well. I am glad that these cd's gave her comfort. But I had a hard time listening to them. I think at the time, it was because I was angry. Not at her, but at her God. How can she be so faithful and find comfort in a God that allowed this to happen to my mother. How dare he! What did she ever do to deserve this. I didn't understand how through suffering, one finds grace and comfort in God. Well, I still don't, but that wasn't my journey to take. That was mom's.

I suppose this isn't what you thought it would be about when you saw the title. I may do a music part 2 post later about her playing Axel F from Beverly Hills Cop so loud that the cd actually skipped. A CD skipping! That's some decibels.

Well, mom has been gone four months now. I'm still angry. And I still say, Fuck Cancer. Dad finished his "project" tonight. I was reading through it. It was late and shut down the laptop. Got ready for bed, and thought, I need to watch the video we made for the memorial. I had one of the songs we put on it in my head. So I turned it back on, and watched the video. Then I thought, well I can't go to sleep with any of those songs in my head. I need to listen to something else. So then I went into the fuck cancer playlist and thought, I'd just listen to the U2 song. Well, I'm now on the third listen to the 5 song playlist and wrote a post.

This is what happens when you get a song stuck in your head and have to do something about it. Well, me anyway.

Music is very powerful to me. It can bring me out of a funk. It can help me cope with depression. It can motivate me to run farther. Go faster. It can calm my nerves. It can make me angry. It can make me cry. It can make me laugh, smile. Sharing songs here on the blog that have helped me through something or inspired me is important to me. Sharing the music is very much like sharing the words and thoughts that come spilling out of my head here on the blog. It's therapeutic. And somehow, I hope that by doing so also helps whomever reads these. It's why I've been sharing songs off my running playlist these past few months during #MyPeakChallenge.

I've known for a long time now... maybe since my late teens that mom and I were both very sensitive to music and how it affects us emotionally, psychologically, and physically. She needed to sing. She needed to be involved in it. Immerse herself in it. It's why she joined the South Bay Singers. Seeing her up there on that stage and hearing them sing was amazing. It brought me to tears. It was emotional. It was physical. It was beautiful. They were so passionate and powerful. She was in it. She was part of it. I can't really describe it. It was like I was witnessing something normally intangible.

Music just does that.


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