Monday, 11 February 2013

Music, moments and memories

One of the last distinct conversations I remember having with my father happened a year ago today. There were more, of course, but this one stands out in particular because of the date. It was about the death of Whitney Houston. She, for as long as I can remember, was always one of his favourite singers. "She has such a powerful voice, no?" he would often say to me.

He would then go on to compare her to the latest singers -- most of whose names he could barely remember. He would make up their names, coming as close as possible, but never quite get them. I guess it showed he didn't care much for the Britneys and the Chris Browns of modern music. He often vented about how the latest music was "rubbish". "Whitney -- wow!" he would say.

So when he found out one of our timeless favourites had passed away last February, all he could say in reaction was "So sad..." over and over again, with a contemplative look on his face. He knew her life story and said all of that didn't matter because she was an amazing singer with a beautiful gift. It was fun watching him talk about the things he felt passionately about.

The more I think about it, the more I realize he must have known he didn't have long either. Just over four months later, he passed away.

Image courtesy of Google Images

That's the thing, though. My father always had a special connection to his love for music. He preferred his trusty little transistor radio (tuned in to one of two stations -- CBC Radio 2 or the best of the oldies), to any television show. Well, except for Turner Classic Movies.

But the one thing that defined my father... The one way everyone knew he was home from work was because of the music -- soft acoustic jazz, classic crooners, the oldies and so much more. He loved it all.

And that's how we knew something was amiss towards the end. He was home, but the sweet sounds that floated lightly through the silence had stopped. The music had stopped, and that's how we knew.

Today, his little transistor radio sits on my kitchen counter, tuned to the same station that played his favourites for him in the evenings -- CBC Radio 2. Sometimes, when I miss him the most, I turn it on and it feels like he's in the room with me.

That's the funny thing about music -- it's the easiest way to connect with a memory. Music evokes emotions, and it's a wonderful thing. Whether a vacation, a moment of nostalgia or a person, music is universal and it acts as the invisible thread that ties our past, present and future together into a lovely package.

So whatever happens, whatever you do, don't let the music in your life stop playing.




  1. Ahhh Simone. I love this one a whole lot. Never let the music fade and may your words never fail you. You write beautifully.

  2. straightfromthecurlsFebruary 12, 2013 9:56 am

    Awh, thanks Teresa! You're too kind. :)


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