The Last Dance with Mom…

Dancing is such an important part of our lives; embedded as part of so many religions, a major part within so many cultures and our lifestyles… The wedding dance that a father does with his daughter or mother does with her son is considered a special prized and cherished moment to so many people, we look forward to this special Dance and then after remember with such deep care… Such a special moment with so much meaning for parent, grandparent and child…

Personally, I’m not one to often dance just for the joy of dance, use to only slow dance once in a great while with someone special… If I had deep feelings for that person, we can dance to music not heard by others, to a rhythm of the deep care and love shared…

A couple months ago while visiting my Mom who was fighting cancer, was up late night around 2am-ish, not being able to sleep and I shared a few hours just talking with her about memories shared that would bring her some laughter… We got talking about Dancing, something my grandmother who passed away had told me too- she had no regrets except one, to see me married and to have that extra special dance with her grandson…

Then Mom said she wished so deeply she could have this one dance too, that special Mother-Son Dance… She then told me that she had hoped to someday watch me get married and wanted to have that special dance that a mother has with her son… I tried not to think to this, and reaffirmed she would get healthy again and we would have that dance someday…

We both all teary eyed shared tissues together, till I got her laughing… I told her that I would only do a slow dance with her if she did another with me afterward, standing up showing her my funny dance – the “Uncle Chuck Dance”… I’d started doing this dance with and for my niece when she was barely able to walk, her baby body waddle to control balance just to stand and take those first few steps… Later she would shake her hinny to music in her little diaper, she would dance, swinging her butt around, and I started to imitate this balance act to the rhythm of the music… How my niece, Mom and sister laughed… It’s been now about 22 years that this dance has brought laughter to my family, even still to this day… At the time it was nice to hear my Mom laugh, when I knew even then she had so much pain…

I am still not married and that special moment is now something that will never happen except within my heart and memory…

Monday morning, we needed to bring in a special bed for Mom, so she needed to come out of her room while we took her bed down and brought in the special adjustable bed… Unfortunately she was in such deep pain get up to walk, she needed help…

Happily she recognized me with a large smile, as we often joked about she said; “My Favorite Son”, as I am the only son with two sisters- no competition- another joke we all enjoyed… She laughed for a moment as she put her arms around my neck, and I helped lift her to her feet… Slowly we danced without music, taking baby steps to where the wheelchair was at the doorway, my last dance with my Mom and seeing her smile, she now watches from heaven…

Advertisements

Voice of an Angel

Last night, my sister Wendy asked me what music and/or musicians Mom enjoyed listening to, her wanting to post some of the music within her Facebook page to share with her friends and people she knows… Wendy had been playing some that she knew of off the computer, as I talked with Rick our stepfather… The sounds of classical, opera, jazz and songs from famous musicals filled the room as the evening wore on… So I told her a few that came to mind, though I am often hard pressed to remember the names of songs or who sung them, often just enjoying the music or the story behind the words sung… There are just too many groups and musicians to recall, picturing the album artwork in my head relating to the musical sound, but not recalling the singer/s or group’s name…


Our Hunting Fathers (“Messalina”) sung by Phyllis Bryn-Julson

One of my Mom’s dearest friends from college and also my Godmother Phyllis Bryn-Julson (singing in the video above), whom is a very respected opera singer… Mom would play her albums, singing with her in harmony words I didn’t seem to understand then…

When I was very young one of my first and fondest memories of my Mom playing music, the old stereo just shaking the pictures upon the walls and make the windows shake… I recall is of Wendy as a baby, when she was crying once… My Mom singing to the Sound of Music to Wendy, when she was just in diapers before she could talk, the tears stopping and a look of wonder in her face… We lived in Rochester then, a large house that the acoustics would echo up the stairway to the next floor…

Some of the albums would be classical music that would include, organ or piano, then others with song, Hymns, opera, songs from classical musicals… Two of the albums included my Mom singing on them, my grandfather accompanying her with playing the piano in the background…. She had even originally gone to Syracuse University to be a voice major in music, but had later changed to get a teacher’s degree…

The memory is a song she would sing with is from an Opera, Lakmé… This opera includes a famous and popular part of the concert- the Flower Duet, a duet sung by two women… I recall my Mom matching note for note in perfect harmony her voice to theirs… I was still very young but the image and memory has ever been one I always cherished… For me her voice became what I would believe would be what the musical voices of angels should sound like…

%d bloggers like this: