Tag Archives: singing

One Day At A Time…

being-strong

Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.  -Martin Luther King, Jr

This is a story about faith. It is a story about hope. And more than anything, it is a story about love; the deeply profound love of a mother for her child. Beverley Jean Blanc was born in Lousiville, Kentucky in 1971 and moved to Moline, IL as a young child. She lived the typical life of most kids, going to school and working as a teenager at the local Hy-Vee grocery store. After high school graduation, she had an exciting opportunity to travel to Europe to perform with her choir. Life was good for the young girl. Beverley attended Blackhawk College in Moline for two years when she married Adam. After the wedding, the newlyweds moved to Macomb, IL when he became a student at Western Illinois University.

During this time, she worked two jobs while he went to school. Upon learning that she was pregnant, what should have been a cause to rejoice, was met with the news that he wanted to leave her. They agreed to counseling in hopes of saving their marriage. And things did seem to look up. Bev continued working and taking care of the new life growing inside her. At twelve weeks, during a routine prenatal visit, she was told that her baby had stopped developing at around seven or eight weeks.  The child had died. Completely devasted with this news, Bev and her husband moved back to Moline where Adam had secured a job with the Rock Island, IL Police Department. Soon after his return from the Police Academy, Bev suffered a second miscarriage. Her third pregnancy would prove the charm, however, and, while frightened at the very real prospect of losing another child, she was also extremely happy that this pregnancy seemed to be a healthy one. After all, Bev deserved some happiness. Her euphoria was short-lived, though, when one morning, Adam simply announced that he didn’t love her anymore. Bev was five months pregnant.She found herself back at her parents’ house, regrouping. But not for long. Adam got the shock of his life, I’m sure, when Bev returned to their home, woke him out of a peaceful slumber and said, “You’re leaving me and your unborn child. Get your shit and get out.” Beverley Jean Blanc was a new person from that day forward.

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I Got Rhythm, I Got Music…Who Could Ask For Anything More?

baby-singingSo, last night, for some reason, I was feeling a bit wistful. I’m not sure what brought it on, but I started thinking about when my kids were little and the songs I would sing to them. Now that I think about it, the whole episode was probably brought on when I heard an old song on the radio. It was Smile, by Nat King Cole. Lost in the song, I mentioned to my husband that, when our kids were little,  I would sing those lyrics when they were feeling down. It’s a beautiful song and, of course, I know I didn’t come close to doing it justice. But, as I listened to the words, my eyes welled up a little. It was just a moment that came and went and was all but forgotten until a few hours later, when, out of the blue, I, again, began to think back to those days. Memories tend to cloud reality. Raising four kids had its moments of exasperation, to be sure. But, thankfully, God erases the frustration, impatience and noise level of those days leaving the warm and fuzzy memories to cuddle up with.

I LOVE to sing, to which my brood will attest. I subjected my children to many, many songs over the years – everything from sweet lullabies to Irish rebel songs to Gershwin, whether folding laundry, cooking dinner or driving in the car. Probably most irritating to my kids, was my knack for coming up with just the right song to appropriately respond to about any question they had.  That’s not an easy thing to do, and I have to say, I was pretty good at it. When they were young, I can remember calling them Veruca, from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if they ever whined about wanting something immediately. She was the awful girl who sang, “Don’t care how, I want it NOW!” They really hated that one.

But, I would say, that most of the time, the songs were fun and they loved to join in. One memory that formed a lump in my throat last night, was the song from Winnie The Pooh. We’d be driving along in the car and I’d sing, “Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, where Christopher Robin plays, you’ll find the enchanted neighborhood of Christopher’s childhood days…..A donkey named Eeyore is his friend. And Kanga” at which point I would peer into the rear view mirror at Brian in his car seat, because he knew that was his cue: “and Litto Woo”

Me: “There’s Rabbit and Piglet…”

Brian: “And there’s Owl.”

Me: “But most of all, Winnie the…”

Brian: “POOH!”

He loved that moment.

In another, slightly more sophisticated example, my sister had once been watching Mike and Brian, and when I returned to pick them up, she told me that she had been singing to herself (must run in the family) while immersed in some housework. The song was It Had To Be You and she had just finished the line, “For nobody else gave me a thrill…” when, in the next room, she heard four-year old Mike finish: “…With all your faults, I love ya still. It had to be you. Wonderful you. It had to be you.” She couldn’t believe it and I said, “Yeah, Mike likes Gershwin.” So funny.

I’m not so sure his admiration for the genius of the Gershwin brothers still ignites him with such passion (well, actually, I AM pretty sure that it DOESN’T), but those days were fun. I do believe, though, that my annoying habit managed to instill an appreciation for good music in all my children. And while I certainly can’t take credit for Peter and Mary Kate’s love for and dedication to music, as they continue in their pursuit of advancing college music degrees, I like to think I played some small role in their recognition and appreciation for the great standards.

I still love to sing and find myself humming a lot at work. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until a patient will ask me, “What are you humming?” and I think, Was I humming?  Most of my patients like it. Most of them… But to the ones who don’t, I say, “Hey, dentistry has made a lot of progress over the years, but we refuse to make it a completely pleasant experience. That’s why we never warm up the water…and why I sing.” Now, just sit back and relax. This won’t hurt a bit…

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