Never ending Tears

If there are tears on your monitor please forgive me. I made the mistake of inserting a certain CD in the player yesterday. It had been sometime since I listened to Evie Karlsson’s “Our ReCollections” CD. It was one of Marilyn’s favorites and in the last months of her life she listened to it over and over. Maybe it was the combination of the music, Evie’s unique sound, pictures of Marilyn on the wall or the combination, but whatever it was, the memories that came together brought a flood of tears.
Music was Marilyn’s abiding passion, along with her photography, but even her camera was a distant second to her collection of music. A testament to her patience was her tolerance for the total inability of her prince to hear the words of a song and hold the meaning close to his heart.
The important things in her life were, in order, her son, her music, her camera and her work. Her prince’s place in that order was a variable. At times he was ahead of music and at other times he could slip as far down the order as last place, but he was never in first position. That was Peter’s place … always.
I struggled for the 22 years of our marriage to hear the words of the songs that were so dear to her heart and yet I never heard them. I can hear a song on the radio and tell you when it came out; the year always, occasionally the season. I can tell you where I was the first time I heard it, because the sounds always evoke a picture in my mind. However ask me the title, the artist’s name or the words beyond the chorus and I draw a blank.
At times the memories that spring to mind can seem completely irrelevant. I never listened to music at all until I was a senior in high school and then it was music chosen by Gayle while we were “getting acquainted” in the front seat of Dad’s Lincoln. That music was the ultimate in romantic; “KLUB Sprinkles Stardust” to strings and brass tunes like Bobby Hackett’s “Night Love”.
Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys always remind me of The Lagoon amusement park north at Farmington, Utah. Those memories are all from the very early ‘60’s. The only other thing I remember from that time frame is a visit to Vince’s apartment in Salt Lake City one evening in ’63. Vince was the one who turned me into a Mathis/King Cole fan, but when he put on a recording by his latest musical discovery I thought he’d totally lost it. Bob Dylan? How in the world did my best friend’s taste in music take such a fall?
After that, my mental music library is practically empty, with a few exceptions, until the early ‘70’s. The only music from the late ’60s I remember is “Baja” by the Astronauts from Boulder, Colorado, and all I really remember is the sound of that record. I had to look up the name of that instrumental just now. Little LeRoy VanDyke’s “The Auctioneer” fits in there, probably because the worst hangover of our life began the morning after his performance at Sky High Stampede in Monte Vista, Colorado in July of ’68..
Other songs such as “Knights in White Satin” by Chicago elicit memories of the past and have their place in my memory but only the melody and refrain; never the words. The odd thing about the emotions evoked by musical memories is that they are nearly always happy, pleasant memories. True, there are some melancholy moments, but they are few. That was the nature of my/our musical mentality … until Marilyn’s death.
I sometimes wonder if she had a conversation about me with Abba soon after her arrival in His presence, about what she might have wished for me, now that she was no longer there to steer me along. If He asked her what she wished for my future I suspect that the most important thing for her, was for me to be able to hear the words, and just as important, to feel the words of all those songs she loved, and the ones I cherished.
Why do I suspect that? I suspect that because it wasn’t long after she left us that I realized I was actually hearing the words. It wasn’t a conscious effort. It just happened. So, yesterday when I heard Evie singing, once again, “Live for Jesus” and “Special Delivery”, the river of tears that never seems to run dry, overflowed once again. That is the only music that makes me cry. I think it will be a long time before I listen to her again. Marilyn never liked it when I cried.

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