Friday, June 24, 2011

thursday part one

It was not the heat from a high of 96 that almost dropped me to my knees yesterday as I tried to take this picture.  It was a song. 

For those of you on the outside looking in, I know you're grief weary.  But I want to tell you about Thursday, about how blessedly special but painful it was, and then I promise, I promise, I'll try to move on to happier things. 

Above is a picture of the outdoor patio at a restaurant I took my mother to, in the afternoon, exactly a year ago.  It was hot that day too so we didn't sit outside in these pretty chairs but enjoyed the view of them from a cool booth inside.  As afternoon turned to night, we sipped white wine, nibbling on a platter of fritto misto and later sharing a bowl of tagliolini and mushrooms, the two tossed together in cream.  It was a great meal, a great time.

This Thursday, I found myself back at the restaurant, the warm glow of the chairs begging for their picture to be taken.  It would be nice to have a photo of them I thought, so I stood in the sun and took this picture.  That's when I heard the song; the music piped out from the cafe next door, just a few feet away.  I got weak, I shook.  

O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem. 
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels

O come let us adore Him, 
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord 

Time stopped.  I froze, standing in the sweltering courtyard listening to this Christmas song, sweat and tears mixed as both streamed down my face.

 Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above
Glory to God, all glory in the highest

O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord

Other people stopped, their heads cocked as they listened, trying to understand why a Christmas carol was playing on a cafe patio on a hot, June day in Dallas. 

I didn't tell them it was sent to me. 

I didn't tell them my mother sent it, at this hour, in this spot, and the fact that Sinatra was singing the swinging version was just a bit of humor thrown in by my dad. 

For as long as I can remember, which feels tonight like a very, very long time, my mother talked about this Christmas carol, O Come All Ye Faithful.  We all knew it was her favorite song; yes, even more than Porgy

In her Last Will and Testament, handwritten with a few words underlined for emphasis as she liked to do, she reminded us of it.  She reminded us to, when we think of her, hum the carol, her favorite. 

"A joyful song," she wrote. 

After a while, I dried my tears and stepped into the restaurant, determined to find some joy.  For me.  For her. 

O hmmm, hmm hm hmmmmmmm........

1 comment:

  1. I've always been the silent reader, but this story was one several of my favorites. I thought I should actively participate in this experience and maybe it would help me with my tech savvy. Thanks for inspiring!