Do you have one or two music albums (I know, I’m dating myself even using that term) that were touchstones at certain points in your life? For me, Dan Fogelberg’s The Innocent Age is one. I first bought it as a cassette and listened to it until Dan’s voice warbled. Then I bought the CD. I should say CDs because it was a double album. I think it’s the best album he ever released. I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the hits from that album: Same Old Lang Syne, Leader of the Band. But the entire album takes you “from cradle to grave”. This album saw me through my 20s, and I’ve never stopped listening to it.
Today is the second anniversary of my father’s death, and in a couple of weeks, it will be twenty-nine years since my mother passed away. It seems impossible it has been that long – those memories of my last days with them are still crystal clear and feel so fresh. In Emily Dickinson’s words,
There is a pain so utter
It swallows Being up,
then covers the abyss with trance
So memory can step
Around, across, upon it…
The hurt isn’t as sharp, but you never feel whole again after losing someone you love.
Last year, I blogged HERE about the way we connect completely unrelated things. This year, several things have happened in the past few days that make me ponder the way life can change completely in the blink of an eye. On Friday, a patient of mine had a test that showed a probable tumor. His pain wasn’t behaving the way it should, and I hesitated to ask for more testing, but I’m so glad I did. Life changed for him and his wife in an instant. Another friend’s grandmother is in the cardiac ICU just as her father is facing surgery for a type of throat cancer. And just yesterday, we visited with a niece who is getting married this fall – a joyous start to a new phase of her life. Today is also the birthday of a dear friend.
Celebration and remembering, joy and sadness… all the things life is made of. Hold those dear to you, remember those who have gone on ahead, and take the time to live.
Follow the dreamer
The fool and the sage
Back to the days
Of the innocent age