My father died June 29, 1989. I was ten years old. He had battled a brain tumor for nearly five years. Five very long years. By the end, he didn't even know us and he passed in a hospital bed in our spare bedroom with me sleeping down the hall. Since then my mother has told me that God must have kept me sleeping because her screams were so loud.
As an adult with three small children, I can now appreciate the impact that this had on my life. I look at my ten year old son and can't imagine him having spent the last five years of his life the way I spent those of my childhood. It breaks my heart to think about it, and it makes me want to love myself and my mother a little more.
Less than a month after my father died, my mother, two year old sister and I packed up our new mini van and headed west on I-70 to Colorado. I remember hearing my mother tell someone we needed to get away.We had spent the week before preparing and one day my mother brought home a couple of new tapes to listen to on the way there. I was surprised because it seemed strange for my mother to buy something for herself.
At some point on that long stretch of highway I was curled up in a ball in the passenger seat while my mother drove. By then we had listened to the tapes a couple times through. I laid there letting her believe I was asleep as she sang along to one tape— Marie Osmond. It was country. It was okay.
My mother was a singer, she sang along to everything. When one song particular came on she really started to belt, and it turned into the most heartbreaking song I'd ever heard. I imagined her tears rolling down her face and into her mouth as she sang. Her strangled notes made my chest ache, but I stayed perfectly still, knowing that she thought I was sleeping.
She had changed the words to Meet Me in Colorado. When I finally decided to 'wake up' again she was happy and we continued on down the highway to our destination.
I have the entire album on my ipod, sometimes I close my eyes and go back to that trip. I know my mother does the same.Hearing the chorus of this song, always makes me cry.
5 weeks ago