It’s almost midnight on Monday 18th March 2019, and I’ve just watched this week’s episode of Criminal Minds. Nothing odd or unusual about either of those things, at least on the surface.
Tonight’s episode had a special guest star who I’ve not seen on TV in many years, the talented singer Johnny Mathis. Very famous in the 70s for any younger readers who are thinking who?! He had/has a beautiful and very distinctive voice which even as children my sister and I loved, probably mostly because my Dad had his cassette in the car 🙂
About fourteen years ago my sister’s partner, Andy, emailed to me (if my memory serves) a link to an mp3 of a song he’d been begged to find by Mary. She’d had no idea of artist or title, just remembered a snatch of lyrics about an “empty tube of toothpaste”. Well, bless him, he finally found it on a Russian music site (this was before YouTube got useful) and voila, here it was – Odds and Ends by Johhny Mathis for the first time since we were children.
Talking about it after we could both clearly remember listening to the song over & over in the car outside a local pub while Mum & Dad popped in for a drink*.
*Important historical note – in the late seventies children were as welcome in most pubs as the bubonic plague, and about as likely to happen. Crisps & lemonade in the car park in the summer were a treat 😉
I digress – so OK, it’s nice that I saw this singer on TV tonight after all this time, and it sent me on a little trip down memory lane, but that’s still not odd or unusual.
Until you factor in the date.
As I’m writing these very words it’s almost midnight, by the time this has posted it’ll be the 19th March.
Which is exactly 12 years to the day since Mel died. I had no plan to post or blog, in fact the date wasn’t something I was conscious of, until Mr Mathis appeared in my living room this evening, looking older but still with his beautiful twinkly eyes.
So I’ve played the song through a few times, it’s made me remember happy days and laughter, and it’s made me smile, as well as cry.
Although written about the end of a love affair, in light of my sister’s suicide one part of the second verse feels particularly poignant;
“At least you could have said goodbye
You shouldn’t have run away
Were you afraid that I would cry?
My tears might have made you stay”
But – feeling sad is OK, grief is the price we pay for love, and I pay it gladly, because my heart would be so much less without her in it.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before I’m not religious, but I am spiritual, and I know in my soul that in some form or other we continue, energy does not die. To quote the writer Aaron Freeman;
“You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every bit of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world.”
And whether you believe in gods, goddesses, divine beings, angels, a guiding light in the universe or the principles of science alone, whether you believe it was serendipity, fate, the angels or the stars that brought Johnny Mathis back into my life in this particular moment, on this day, I call that magic.
I feel blessed. 🙏💙
For anyone in need of emotional and/or mental health support for low mood or suicidal feelings please, please, reach out. Call a friend, a stranger, me, a doctor, therapist, whoever but ask, help is out there for you. The Samaritans are available 24/7 in the UK & ROI for free, confidential support