Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ten Great Songs From One Great Year

Songs about Moms

My mother passed away this week after a long illness that simply ravaged her body and mind. We knew this day would be coming sooner than later, but even still, the suddenness surprised us. There are many things I can say about my mother, some not that pleasant, but there are many other things I can say that are.

My mother was not what one would call a typical mom. She was very funny, but along with her humor came an unfiltered mouth. She was fiercely loyal to her husband of 49 years (he passed away 11 years ago) and often at the expense of her children. But she loved her children as best she could. My brother put it best when e said she was “simplistically complex.” Love her or hate her, she left an impression wherever she went.

When my father died, my mother's will to live died with him. I saw it in her eyes on the way back from the cemetery back in '98. She never wanted to be without him and frankly couldn't figure out how to be. The sages tell us that for the first year after a death, the families of the deceased pray for the victim's soul. In Judaism, we do this by reciting the mourner's prayer, known as kaddish . By saying this prayer daily, we aspire to allow the deceased to ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven , which our sages tell us could take up to a ful year (depending on the righteousness of the individual). My mother was at her best when she was making a deal. She loved playing cards and gambling. Las Vegas was her mecca and even in her last days, she expressed a desire to return there when she got better.

But in the end, G-d showed mercy on her. He allowed her one final deal. Instead of suffering for whatever sins she would have to repay, he allowed her to suffer during her lifetime. My father's passing was torture for my mother and her psychological and physical health only made it infinitely worse. But as she was laid to rest, I was given a sense of peace and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that she earned the right to ascend immediately and to finally rejoin the man she so dearly loved and admired.

May your soul rest in peace, Mom, and may your children always remember the best of you for generations to come.

These songs are self explanatory and in deference to my week of mourning, I will refrain from writing their descriptions. I received about 25 suggestions both in the comments on this blog and by email, and these where the songs I chose. Thank you all for your suggestions and your words of kindness.

Mother and Child Reunion – Paul Simon

Tired of Sleeping – Suzanne Vega

Our House – Madness

Mama Said – The Shirelles

Sylvia's Mother – Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

Stacy's Mom – Fountains of Wayne

Mama Told Me Not To Come – Three Dog Night

Your Mother Should Know – The Beatles

Thank You, Mom – Good Charlotte

Your Momma Don't Dance – Loggins and Messina

Bonus Track

Another Try – America

While this song only mentions the mother in passing, this was one of the few songs I loved growing up that my mother tolerated. I remember in the summer of 1975, listening to it in 8-track stereo in my parent's '75 Oldsmobile. I was only allowed to listen to “my crap” when she was sleeping. But this song – along with the album it came from (Holiday) was the exception.

1 comment:

Allison Guerriero said...

I KNEW you would put Another Try in there!

Thnks for using Suz's song.