That's what music does to me: it rearranges all my molecules into new formations and makes me feel, well, spirited. In the spirit of my spiritedness, I am going let the spirit (and spirits!) guide me as I write this blog.
I couldn't help but think of Dad and my brother tonight. The holidays are always a nostaglic time and when you miss two of the people you love most in the world, there is a bittersweetest to it all.
My Dad always found a way to make Christmas special. I'll never forget the Christmas he had a fur coat hidden for my mom in his trunk. I know this sounds like a bougee gift, but we were not bougee people. This was a big deal gift and my Dad didn't even tell me about it! It was a surprise to everyone and I'll never forget the surprised look on my mom's face when she opened that big box!
Starting in middle school, I'd stay up late on Christmas Eve with my Dad wrapping his gifts for everyone. He taught me about military tight corners and always made sure we both made it to 12:01 am on Christmas Day. His own father died on Christmas Eve before I was born. I think it was a bittersweet time for him, too.
I loved that time together, just him and I, talking, wrapping, hearing his stories and he listening to mine. As much as he talked, he listened. It still means a lot to me that he cared what I thought about things. He was such a leader and so secure in himself and full of wisdom, when he listened, it taught me how much I mattered and much my voice was an important one.
I hope I listen to my kids enough and give them this gift often enough that their own sense of importance is rooted deeply in who they are. I think being listened to changes you like music does.
And my brother--well--how can I not feel him in every single Christmas song. He knew from the very beginning how much music could change you. He was non-verbal; but when music played, it was like he was singing. He experienced music with his entire body and without self-consciousness and without pause. All night tonight I felt him next to me, moving around us in Spirit and in memory. It is amazing that even though he is gone, he is still changing me, just like the music.
Before I sign off, and in the interest of full disclosure, I want you all to know, that the spirit has led me to full sobbing--like a hideous ugly cry that my Grammy would have found unlady like (and I find to be ridiculous). My husband has asked me if I am okay and the thing is, for the first time in many years, I am okay.
That's what music does--it rearranges the broken bits and makes us okay.