18 Comments
Mar 25Liked by Amy Brown

Hi Amy, I'm revisiting this beautiful post and listening to Fifi's songlist (added to my own Spotify!). I'm tremendously touched by your melancholy expressed in this piece, where you traced the history of your mom's love affair with music and with your dad, and described how that has shaped your own musical taste and become the wonderful glue that connects your family.

Here, you described the tragedy of not being able to share the joy of music as your mother's mind drifts away to a place that feels as if it was a distant country: "When I gently nudged her awake again, she would look at the performers and smile before disappearing again to that country she now inhabits—the one where I have no passport to gain entry." That makes me want to cry with you.

And then you mentioned the guilt of feeling joyous yet noticing that your mother could no longer receive the gift of music that would allow her to take part in the same kind of joy: "At the very moment that she and I both need to be uplifted, it is difficult to reclaim that joy. I even feel guilty at times when music makes me feel happy and carefree when it can no longer do that for her." I feel for you whenever such heartbreak moments occur.

On the other hand, I'm really inspired by your determination to live in joy despite all the hardship and difficulties you have gone through during the last year--the divorce and caring for your mother with dimentia. Taking yourself to a classical music concert sounded like such a wonderful gift to yourself--a balm to your tired soul at that time. Perhaps I should give myself a similar treat soon.

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Yes you should give yourself that treat dear Louisa & thank you so much for this lovely comment! It means so much to me that it touched you in this way💗

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Thank YOU for sharing the gift of music. It's generative! I've been enjoying Fifi's song list the past two days!

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Such poignant bittersweetness. Thank you for sharing this sacred window. Time in a Bottle is one of my mother’s favorite songs too.

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Thank you for the kind comment

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Sounds like a beautiful solo date, Amy. Also, the mere mention of “The Rainbow Connection” and imagining Kermit singing it brings tears to my eyes. Off to find it on YouTube... Hearts to you!

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That sounds like a beautiful solo date, Amy. Also, the mere mention of “The Rainbow Connection” and imagining Kermit singing it brings tears to my eyes. Off to find it on YouTube... Hearts to you!

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This whole piece uplifted me just as any musical note would. I just love your lyrical way with words, Amy.

My heart will always be tied to Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison and Anne Murray. Growing up, these three artists were at the center of our family gatherings. Always playing in the background. I am going to play each of them today and this will expand things for me. 💕 so thank you.

This line: “that country she now inhabits—the one where I have no passport to gain entry.” Ooof. Amy. Huge hugs to you. Such difficult terrain, I know, watching your mom slip away. Her heart knows you are still there by her side. And our hearts have their very own distinctive music. One that never stops playing. Xoxo

And thanks for the nod on solitude. I often ask myself these days : Am I a lone wolf? I crave so much solitude lately and I question it sometimes. I love that you are leaning into it too - not feeling lonely when alone.

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Allison, your beautiful comment was like music to my soul and touched my heart, thank you. I feel your empathy and kindness and kindred spirit and it means so much to me. Those are wonderful artists that are part of your childhood. I am not familiar with Anne Murray, so will have a listen to her. May the music continue to uplift you.

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Feb 20Liked by Amy Brown

Such a beautiful piece. You write so evocatively and empathetically about grandma’s experience. Also I’m so glad that the concert moved you so. It makes me even more excited to hear the Rach 3 live for the first time in May!

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Thanks for the comment, Marielle! I appreciate it. I think of you at age 3 dancing with your teddybear to music on your little boom box tape player in your room; the gift of music lives on in all of us, I believe. You will love the performance of Rach 3 in May.

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1. Kermit. Forever.

2. We got to see G. Ohlsson play Rachmaninoff live once, onstage at the NY Philharmonic from row 3. it was beyond.

3. The part about solitude, about sinking in and loving it.

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Thank you so much Elena for sharing how this essay touched you in all the places it did me. Yes, to Kermit forever and isn't G. Ohlsson amazing? And here's to sinking into solitude, a very Zen like practice.

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This is beautiful. Music transports me to different points in my life like nothing else. So much so, there are things still too painful to listen to. I am happy you could enjoy Rach 3 on your own and hope that shared mosaic of music gives your mom back to you in some fashion, even if you aren’t sure where it lands for her. I will listen to the playlist and think of you both!

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Thank you, Emily. I am so glad you enjoyed it, I love that phrase "mosaic of music." And I do feel that music connects Mom and me, still, even if she can't really show me or share with me anymore that it is connecting with her.

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Thank you for this uplifting gift, Amy. I can hear the bittersweetness between the lines of memories you share with your mother and the ones you're creating for yourself today.

I know those 'closed eyes' moments too, where Dad existed physically in ours and mentally elsewhere, transported by music and feelings. He didn't articulate what was happening, but there was peace instead of pain for which I was grateful.

I take myself to concerts when I can, or to a show when I used to be in London. There is something a little decadent in savouring the music all to yourself, especially if you take yourself for a nice dinner and drinks too ;-) Your concert experience reminded me of a scene in the film 'A Mirror Has Two Faces' with Barbara Streisand and Jeff Bridges - an easy-watch, entertaining film.

Thank you for taking up my request from Sarah Fay's party. I'm grateful for the connectivity and the empathy

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Thank you once again Victoria for witnessing me and my experience as carer, and my mom in her dementia, with so much empathy, which is your great gift to the world. I am so glad you dad found peace and that music helped transport him there. We can't really know how music might be helping, so we must keep letting it do its healing work. And yes, to savoring music on your own. I will watch that film you recommend.

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Thank you, Amy. I hope that through stories like yours, we can create synergies of empathy to reach others who need it. Lift each other and bring a little light where things may be dark.

The film's a romcom, and the concert moment is fun. Some of us feel the music more ;-) Enjoy

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