It's been a lonnnng time since I've released any new music, so I'm pretty excited to finish recording this tune. I suppose a pandemic can be good for something?
The song is called "Lights." Here's a bit of the backstory, in case you're interested...
When my mom was nearing the end of her time here on Earth, she started to see people who had already passed- those she loved and who were so important to her. It started about 10 months or so before she died. She'd wake up from a snooze in her recliner and just start laughing; when I'd ask what was so funny, she'd say, "Your father's outside looking for the dog, but he's right there!" (pointing to the floor where the dog was, with a big smile). My father had died three years prior, and we hadn't had a family dog in about fifteen years, so it was a little weird to hear her say all this. She would suddenly realize the same thing, and I'd say, "It's okay, Mom. You were still dreaming."
This happened with increasing frequency over the summer & into the fall, and by the time she was in hospice (at home) in early December, folks were coming through the room on a daily basis. In one instance, a bunch of us were gathered around the bed and she said, "Elizabeth, aren't you going to get my mother a chair? She's been standing there all morning!" She pointed to the space behind me. For the record, my grandmother (Ada Pearl) died in 1975, but I brought a chair from the kitchen just in case. My mother looked satisfied, and added, "I think she'd like a nice cup of tea."
My father was a constant visitor. Not surprising, as they'd been happily married for 63 years, taking care of one another through thick & thin. They'd met when they were 16 & 17, working together at the "Bridge Tables" in Lowell, MA. I'm sure the company had an actual name, but I'd only ever heard it referred to by what they made: tables used in the game of Bridge. Shortly after they met, my dad joined the Navy (having lied about his age, as so many young men did at the time) and went off to fight in WWII.
When he returned to Lowell after the war, he spotted my mother at the Commodore Ballroom one night, dancing with another guy. The Commodore had a beautiful dance floor, and many of the greats played there in the Swing Era- Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, among others. (it stayed open until 1982 and many prominent rock acts came through later, but let's stick to the story). Dad asked to cut in, and thus began their 63-year journey together. They were the couple who cleared the dance floor at every wedding, doing the Jitterbug to Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" with such exceptional grace & a fluidity of motion that somehow escaped my DNA.
As a Navy man, if my father told us to be ready to go at 6am, we knew damned well we'd better be ready at 5:50. So, when my mother stated one morning in early December that "Daddy's got everything set for the 17th," we didn't know exactly what that meant but we knew we'd better be ready for something.
December 17th came, and she slept soundly all day and into the night. Finally around 11:30pm, she opened her eyes, looked at me, and asked the date. My sister and I exchanged a look, I took a deep breath, and told her it was the 17th... "Okay." She nodded off to sleep again. Nothing happened that night, or for the rest of December. Mom died on January 7... That's 1-7... Maybe the numbers got muddled in translation, but I guess Dad probably did have everything set.
Who knows what it all means? Maybe changes in brain chemistry caused my mom to see things that weren't there? Maybe they really were there, but only visible to her? Of course we can't know the answers, and frankly it doesn't matter to me. What I do know is that, at a time that must've felt so stressful and scary for her, my mom was comforted every time she "saw" her loved ones there with her. So whether they were real or imagined did not matter. The light of their love will carry us home.
I hope you like the tune. It's available for download on the MUSIC page. Stay well, my friends!