My mom used to dedicate a song to each of us kids either when we were born or when we were growing up. I was about 5 years old when I first remember her singing “our” song to me. It was Al Jarreau’s “We’re In This Love Together.” If you know the song, you know how the next line goes. “We’ve got the kind that lasts forever.” Man, I used to feel like I was on top of the world when it’d come on over the radio in her beige Volkswagen Type 3 and she’d sing those words to me. She’d look me in the eyes and start to sing and as I type this now, 27 years later, I smile, I shake my head and then fight the sadness that eventually comes over me.
A lot has happened in the 27 years since and its WAY too much for one post. A lot has happened in the 5 years that her and I haven’t seen or spoken to each other.
All this brings me to the whole reason for this post. I got in my car the other night and I turned it on with perfect timing. I usually have the worst timing in the world, so this was weird. Was it a sign?
“Ooh Child” by The Five Stairsteps came over the airwaves and I was lucky enough to catch the very cool drumbeat at the songs’ opening. Now let me just say, just like Al Jarreau’s song is important to me, this one is just as important. You see, I dedicated this song and would sing it to my mom when I was a kid and she was feeling down. We went through many hard times when I was growing up and she was always depressed so I thought this song was a good way to cheer her up because at the time, I might have been around 10 and there was little else I could do. Hearing this song brings back a lot of memories both good and bad and as I write this blog post, I’m a 32 year old man. I’m married to a very beautiful and very giving woman and we have two smart and amazingly talented kids. We have a new house and a new car in the driveway. I have so much to be thankful for (maybe more than I deserve) and a lot to worry about. (if you want to see it that way)
The sense of achievement I feel thinking about things my wife and I have accomplished is bittersweet. It’s been 5 years since I’ve seen or spoken to my mom and it saddens me not to be able to share this happiness with her but I know she knows how far I’ve come and I hope she puts her pride aside and can be proud of the man I’ve become. Now, I’m not the perfect husband, father or perfect person for that matter but I continue to try.
“Ooh child things are gonna get easier. Ooh child things’ll get brighter.”
These two lines really made me stop and think. Is it ironic? Did things really get easier but at the cost of not having her in my life and also are things easier for her without me or is this song still making the same promise it’s always made?
I guess I’ll continue to wait.
- by Art Meza