You know when you are driving and you feel a loud base thumping in your body to a beat unfamiliar to you and you wonder what it is? And then you a hit a red light and a stylin’ car pulls up and you now can hear what you were feeling in the loud music coming from the car next to you. You might make eye contact for a moment and then the light turns green and you go.
I felt something similar to this at dinner with Zoe last night before the Head and the Heart concert. I felt a beat that was not my own and it wasn’t the cool mom and daughter beat I wanted. I was hoping for a night where we took adorable selfies and posted them on Instagram and Facebook and I would look like the best mom having the best night with my daughter in our very cool city of Nashville.
I do have a few selfies from the night and I may post but the truth is my 14 year old who was stylin’ in her trendy jeans and sneakers and Blondie t-shirt and cute new bangs was not excited to be pulling up next to me and I heard what i was feeling.
Mom, you know Dad should be taking me to this concert.
Almost ten months ago it felt like our family was in our groove after a great time in Miami and loving every song Jay played as we danced into 2016 with the strobe lights flashing and the lights dimmer than we knew. And just like that, before we had a chance to throw the confetti into the New Year, bright lights were blinding us and the music was no longer. We miss the stylin’ guy next to us who wore cool hats and concert t-shirts and was always finding us new music and Zoe was right, he should have been the one taking her to the concert.
I wish you would find new music for us, Mom. We haven’t heard new music in so long. Dad always played us new music.
As Zoe continued to tell me the thoughts in her head that were breaking her heart, I understood because at the heart of our family has always been music and the base in our house that kept our beat is gone and we can feel it missing. I agreed with Zoe because the absence of new music in our lives makes me feel angsty too and I notice it often.
Dad used to always buy cool concert posters and get them framed. You don’t do that, mom.
While my writing is full of words, often it is hard to know what to say. My flowing words are not reflective of the raw, up and down moments where I wish I had a better playlist for this phase of our life or I could keep a beat or could remember the words to songs so I knew exactly how to turn down the volume on the pain in our family. Grief reminds me of the loud thumping base you can feel but not see, although as I sit and write, it becomes more familiar to me.
When we got to the Ryman Auditorium with its church pew benches and started listening to the opening band in this sacred building Jay loved, I looked over and there was my girl. We had lost each other as we do when grief and adolescence collide but for a moment, we found each other at a red light and we smiled and did take some selfies on this imperfect night.
While I danced off-beat like I usually do, Zoe and I found our beat again for a moment in time. I know the light will turn green again and we will lose it and find it and lose it and find it over and over again for a while because that is what moms and daughters do. I am just hoping the beautifully framed poster from this night that I will give her is a reminder that I am always happy to pull up next to her.
Winter Song by The Head & The Heart. Jay and Zoe in Miami and of course, Jay is wearing a Phish shirt and a very cool hat.