The song “Beautiful” by Carol King stuck in my head when I woke up this morning. My daughter says I have a song for everything.  I attribute this extraordinary ability to growing up when musicals were popular, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, Oliver! You mean normal people don’t just break out in spontaneous song?  Wait, what?

I have always wanted to have a lovely voice.  I did make select choir in high school but that was a very long time ago.  I tried community choir too, you know the kind you don’t have to audition for?  Mostly I just mouthed the words because it was pretty evident I didn’t have the talent the others did.  Singing was great fun though, and it gave me something to occupy my mind when things were a bit rough.

In the summer of 2012, I found inspiration in a new pop hit called “Carry On” by Fun. which got me through that summer and fall.  Caitlin was heading off to college; how would I ever survive without her?  For eighteen years, my identity revolved around being Mom.  She is my only child.  I know, she was only 37.6 miles from home but who’s counting?  Since Jon and I promised not to bother her at school, we decided limit the calls and texts, and instill a “NO pop-in visit” rule.  Looking back, she probably wouldn’t really have minded if we occasionally called her to see how she was doing.

Late that July, Frank, my step-father, became very ill.  He had suffered a heart attack many years back and actually experienced death momentarily before being revived. I wish I had spent more time talking with him about that experience.  He passed away in July 2012 leaving my mother heartbroken and lonely. He also left behind seven of his own children and five step-children.  He was a good man, a fun-loving man.  He found it funny that my mom and I spent so much energy on details. He loved speaking in idioms.  His favorite was “a galloping horse wouldn’t notice”.  He said it all the time.  The actual saying is “a man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice.” I guess I do pay too much attention to detail.

That summer and fall was an emotional time for me and even though I’m typically upbeat and optimistic, sometimes I get in my own way of complete happiness.  We will get through this time and will be stronger and more resilient.  Until then, find joy in the simple things.  Sing whenever you can.  Connect with those you love (but NO pop-in visits just yet), and don’t get lost in the details. As Frank would say, “when it rains, it pours, but we will weather this storm”. I would have responded with “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again”.

You are beautiful!