Tonight (tomorrow, by the time you read this), I am sharing something more personal than usual. Friday, I had to go for a test (which I have no reason to think will come out badly) that somehow got under my skin and knocked me off balance in ways in which I’m not accustomed. (That’s right, I’m mixing metaphors. Deal with it.)
It should be said that I went into this hour-long test positive, happy even. But twenty minutes in, I somehow lost my way. Before it started, the technician asked what kind of music I liked. My mind went blank, so I said classical, figuring everything else had the potential to annoy me. The music was mostly inaudible, but though I couldn’t really hear, I could think. It was just too much time without distraction, alone with my thoughts, in a featureless plastic tube. In spite of my initial positive outlook, I found myself worrying about the things we all have to worry about. Health. Age. Money. Retirement. Politics. Suddenly, when I had just about worked myself into a panic, the music, which I could barely hear before, changed from some featureless Barber to a very clear, very audible version of Debussy’s Clair de Lune.
Let me tell you what this music means to me. First, it was Mom’s favorite. During her last days, I played her classical music 24/7. And every time Clair de Lune came on, even when she was no longer able to speak, she let out a happy sigh and smiled, something she had pretty much otherwise stopped doing. Second, after she was gone, Dad and I played it on a loop for days (seriously, I think we played it more than a hundred times) while we wrote responses to her hundreds of sympathy cards. Finally, Dad and I have said to each other for the last six years that whenever the song plays, it immediately brings Mom to mind.
So when Clair de Lune played at one of my darker hours, I immediately burst into tears (something you’re not supposed to do in an MRI). I felt like Mom popped in to let me know it would all be okay. I felt happy and sad and blessed and lonely and all the things, but the one thing I didn’t feel was worried. Thanks, Mom. You always could make me feel better.
Here’s a lovely version of the song that will make me cry (and comfort me) forever. F.Y.I., Dad and I agree that we both want it played at our funerals. Which hopefully will not be anytime soon.