Sometime last week, before heading to town to run some errands, I had a question concerning something or other, and, as I have done from time to time, I wondered what my dad would do, so I asked him. Almost immediately an answer popped into my head that felt exactly like what my dad would have said. I think I already knew the answer, but was looking for affirmation.
Not content with my affirmation, I decided to ask for confirmation. As is often the case, my answer arrived via the radio.
But first, some background.
When I was young, somewhere in my early 20's, I created a scrapbook of photos, along with song lyrics and poems that I knew my mom liked, and gave it to her for Mother's Day. One of the pages held a photo of Mom and Dad the summer they met. It's taken outside my grandparent's house, my mom's parents, shortly before they got married.
Years later, after I came along, I would sometimes hear my dad singing Jimmie Rodger's, "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." Not the entire song, just a verse or maybe the chorus. Dad was a dreamer, but he was also a doer and a practical man, not prone to outpourings of affection. Oftentimes, his affection came in the form of music. Both of my parents had great voices and loved to sing. Anyway, through the years I came to see it as their song. In the scrapbook I made for my mom, I placed that song next to their photo.
When I was heading down the highway last week, looking for some verification of what I thought was an answer from my dad, I turned on the radio and that song immediately came on. I hadn't heard it in years. Many, many years. I don't know if I call these things up, or the Universe drops them in my lap as a way of saying, 'keep moving, you're on the right path,' but it happens often, quite often through music, and I can't see it as just coincidence. There are millions of songs out there and I'm just a speck among them. Whatever it is that happens, I like it. It makes me feel connected to the vastness of the universe.
I also have a million stories I could tell about these two people. My cousin once said, after both had passed, that now the universe was right again, these two twin souls were reunited. I don't know if that's true, but there's no reason to believe it's not true. In a few days, my parents wedding anniversary comes 'round again. They didn't have a perfect marriage, I'm not sure such a thing exists, but they created together one beautiful life and left me so many things of great value. I will be eternally grateful for the day that picture was taken.
Here's Jimmie Rodgers and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kg1GEOg8k8
Note: There were two Jimmie Rodgers, one of train and yodeling fame, and this one. This song went to #3 in the fall of '57.
Photos: Mom and Dad on that day, and one of my sisters and me, peeking out the window of the garage, several years hence. Left to right: me, Chris, and Jane.