Smilin Through

One of my constant and mostly happy memories of childhood center around the family being together, relatively peaceful, and listening to music. My mom loved Jeanette MacDonald films and Nelson Eddy films and so we would traipse to the Vanguard theater, or the vintage theater to see their films. Now every time I see or hear one of their many wonderful lush melodies, I have to say, I get a little misty-eyed.

These excerpts from Smiling Through, one of my mommas favorite songs, and the ending of the fabulous “Maytime”, with their reunion.

May I take a moment of pure selfish sentimentality?

My Mom in the last years of her colorful life fought against colon cancer, which went un detected even after colonoscopies. “They missed it…”. She had a way of making chemo look merry and okay so her kids wouldn’t be afraid. A cup of hot chocolate and graham crackers in the Memorial Sloan Kettering lobby awaiting the poison thought to prolong life. She made it okay when we were told there was nothing left they could do.

Her face was so beautiful and radiant and AWARE. She knew, she was scared as any of us would be. But she weathered it with great humor and heartbreaking sweetness. Hospice in my home; the sound of the oxygen machine oddly reassuring.

The thought of this world without her? Quite frankly, I have been in the dark for a few years now, and only feeling her constant presence keeps the feet moving, and of course her greatest gift to me, and Dad’s gift to me, Opera, keeps the soul full of hope.

The fog is lifting and the call to arms is loud. I hope she helps me.

I hope my mother passed over full of music and in her mind sitting under that bower of roses by bendemeer stream, a song she used to love to sing like no one else, listening to the tune of the Nightingale, with a walk way of cherry blossom trees and the wind driven lanes filled with leaves strewn about and that all of her loved ones came and took her Home.

Who is to say it doesn’t happen like this?

Those who love music are more sensitive to it’s magic.

Maybe it is our golden ticket to a good end, as they say in the Legends of the Fall, with the wonderful Indian Voice, the enigmatic character Tristan’s best friend, best mirror, best reflection of himself, (Brad Pitt amazing and handsome), “He had a good death….”

I pray, as I think of my Mom and Dad and Step Dad, and Grandma,and other family, as well as Luciano and Beverly and my dear Renata and Zinka, as well as the Divine Muzio and Callas, I hope they made a good crossing. With all that music in their hearts, I am SURE they did.

~ by aprilemillo on May 5, 2008.

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