With the winter weather we have had lately I cannot help but think my mother has a hand in it.
She loved good snow, longed for a white Christmas, and would get just as excited as kids about a snow day.
On my birthday it snowed. JALC closed. I couldn’t believe it. I had to laugh and thank my mom for that “gift.”
Tonight Kirsten texted me and said she heard a song, by Josh Turner, another favorite of mom’s, and she began to cry. She texted, “I don’t know why I did that.”
“That’s grief. A song, a memory, it’s okay to cry.” was my reply.
I started to think about my mom and her love for music–country mostly, I can vividly remember her playing The Judds in the car, and me opening the cassette to fold open the lyrics, “Rockin’ to the rhythm of the rain…”
When CDs were available, she had a few that she would play. Mostly on long car rides. One year we bought her a Josh Turner CD and she was really excited, like a girl fangirling over a boy band excited. She thought Josh Turner was “good lookin'” almost as good lookin’ as my dad.
We had “How Great Thou Art” played at her funeral. I am sure she loved it, mainly because it was one of her favorite hymns, but also, Josh Turner.
Then sings my soul; My savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.
Inspiration for the hymn came from Boberg, a Swede who based the song Psalm 8.
Psalm 8 reads:
O. Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens…When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…
So, from those short verses, you get an idea of how this song came to be. Many have performed it. Elvis, Carrie Underwood (with Vince Gill), and of course, Josh Turner.
Music provides a safe space to feel emotions, especially emotions of loss. Songs, much like stories, and people, have a beginning, middle, and end. They provide a story or a memory for us. Music also gives us a way to express our big emotions. As someone who studied the humanities, I have a lot of feelings, and a lot of emotions, and I so relate to that–music affects our minds and bodies in a powerful way.
My sweet girl, play MawMaw’s favorites and cry if you need. Sing, scream, and let it out. Sing up to the heavens for MawMaw, I know she’s watching us.
Music helps us honor the memory of our loved ones. If you have lost someone, I hope you have a song, or songs to get you through the tough times.