Earlier this fall to celebrate my wife's birthday, we drove to the urban jungle for an overnight stay and to visit some of her most desired places. In the evening however, we had some time to kill and after searching the local calendar, found a brass quartet playing in a church and decided to stop by. Although they were all very good musicians, the concert itself was unremarkable until for the finale, they decided to play a musical piece that I know very well. It brought tears quickly to my eyes but salve to my soul in a way. More on that later in this post.
On the third anniversary of my mom's death, as I have done the previous two years, I opted to remember the occasion by doing something my mom loved to do and went for a hike along the river. My wife's schedule didn't allow her to get the time off this year and for reasons unknown to me, the local school system cancelled school a couple days early (in the leadup to the Thanksgiving holiday) so my two girls had time on their hand and so the three of us set off. It was a chilly day but in the trees and with the sun shining it was pleasant as long as we stayed moving. I enjoyed seeing my girls having fun and running off ahead of me while remembering mom.
During the last months of my mom's life, my oldest daughter happened to be learning the song Jupiter by Gustav Holst on the violin. Mom really loved listening to her play that song as did I. On that last day that mom was conscious, my daughter played that song in the living room while I sat by mom's bedside and seeing my mom listen and smile to it is a memory that has stuck with me. It will probably be a song that I will always associate with that particular time in my life and I was reminded of it that night listening to the quartet. I'm okay with that.