The Soundtrack to my Life. (Thanks Dad!)

Today we made some good progress with packing. When I saw “we” I kinda mean Joe. Between you and I, I have no idea how I will get this all done. But…we cannot tell Joe this. He thinks I totally have this.

See, the problem is, I have soooooooo much stuff. I am not one of those people who can just throw a picture, that is hanging in the living room, into a card board box. Nope. I am always taken back to a time when I first bought said picture. Then, somehow the picture (or shirt, candle, piece of paper, whatever it may be) brings up all these happy emotions in me that I can somehow equate with a song. Before you know it I have gotten nowhere on the packing, but I have a pretty bad ass play list ready to go.

A few years back my Dad sent me all of his New York Giants memorabilia that he needed to find a good home for. Naturally, mine was the perfect place. I remember when the pictures came in the mail (already framed mind you) I felt like a child on Christmas morning. It was the best day ever and I took so much joy in displaying my New York Giants memoribilla on the wall. It was a pretty serious ritual with me. My children were occupied, I made myself a drink, threw my headphones on, and while listening to Jethro Tull’s Bungle in the Jungle, I set out to find the absolute perfect place for my New York Giant pictures to be displayed.

I do not remember how old I was when Dad first introduced me to “Bungle in the Jungle.” I lie about my age so much, I do not remember my real age, but I was young. Pre-teen – teenager. Immediately I fell in love with it. It was the opening, you hear a lion (or maybe a tiger) roar, and because I have always loved the wildcats, this was now my new favorite song.

Let’s bungle in the jungle — well, that’s all right by me.
I’m a tiger when I want love,
but I’m a snake if we disagree.

No idea what the actual song is about, but there is a tiger in it, and tigers make me happy, just like the New York Giants memorabilia did many years ago. So…..long story even longer, “Bungle in the Jungle” I equate with being happy. However I was not feeling so happy today when it came time for me to take the memoribillia off the wall. Nope! What I felt like doing was curling up on the sofa and reminiscing.

However because Joe is such a drill sergeant that did not happen.

Now I needed a song to “pump me up!’

Scorpions always do it for me. Usually my go-to would be “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, yet today, going through the emotions of packing up an apartment that I have 12 years history in, I felt like listening to “Rhythm of Love.” The song came out in 1988, most likely around the same time dad introduced me to it.

We were driving. I cannot even remember where we driving to, and he just purchased their new cassette tape. Yes, I said cassette tape and if you have no idea what that is then you are too young to be reading this blog. Dad thre the tape in, told me to listen to their new song, and I was transfixed.

“The rhythm of love
Keeps me dancing on the road
The rhythm of love
Got the groove that hits the bone
The rhythm of love
Is the game I’m looking for
The rhythm of love
Is the heartbeat of my soul”

As the years went on, whenever I needed a good “pump me up” song, “Rhythm of Love” would be one of many. I mean seriously, how good are the Scorpions?!?!?!

I was doing pretty well with the packing until I came across a letter that I had hanging on my wall. This was a letter that my family wrote in 2014. The goal being we would open it up in October 2015. The contents were, each one of us listed our goals and dreams for the next year. This was right before my brother’s first deployment. It was important to me…..because if you have not figured it by now I am quite a sad sap!

Well, through life’s circumstances, we were not able to open it all together in 2015. Not all of us were there, and that was the one rule. We all had to be present to open the letter. Enter October of 2016, here in my apartment, we were all together. On our last night, drinks in hand, emotions filled with the sadness of having to say good-bye in just a few short hours, while being thankful that we had this visit, we all opened the letter. Each one of us read our own entries and Holy Hell I was a complete mess. I will cherish these letters forever. Right before we said our teary good-byes, I hung the letter on my wall. As a reminder, of life, family, and The Bond.

Today, here I was face to face, with this letter. I am not ready, I cannot take it down of my wore torn dining room walls without knowing where I will put it next. Again, my music took me back to a time. Blue Oyster Cult “I’m Burnin’ for You.” I was also introduced by my dad, in a two bedroom (or was it three?) apartment that had the prettiest bay window you had ever seen. We were on the second floor. 1981, and dare I say it may have even been a record. No….in fact I am sure it was a record. Dad brought it out, and my sister and I started singing along.

” Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can’t see no reason to put up a fight
I’m living for giving the devil his due

And I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you
I’m burning, I’m burning, I’m burning for you”

Naturally my sister and I messed up the lyrics, but today, thirty plus years later, while I am staring at the letter that is hanging on my wall, I know those lyrics by heart.

Clearly I was not getting anything accomplished. I mean I packed a picture and Joe packed a room. I cannot have him showing me up, so I decided to work on the kitchen. I mean what on earth can I have in there that would bring up memories?

My playlist was now on The Rolling Stones. Much to my dad’s dismay, I only became a fan of theirs a few years back. I grew up listening to him sing all their songs. He went to the concerts, and he tried, he really did try to get my sister and I into them. It just did not work.

Again, fast forward quite a few years, here I am standing in my kitchen, not knowing quite where to begin and The Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” comes on.

“But don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire”

Damn, why did I not give them a chance back in the day. Honestly, I have no idea if my dad even likes “Play With Fire.” Originally a B side song, it was later included on their album “Out of Our Heads” in 1965. So I am going to say Dad at least knows the song.

Now it is time to take my pictures down that occupy my front door. These are not your usual pictures, these are my children’s art work. These pictures have had a safe place on my door for 12 years. I have never moved them.

It was Halloween of 2010. The kids and I set out to make some Halloween crafts. Although I still have the paint stain on my carpet to prove that this indeed happen, the finish product was absolutely imperfectly perfect.

“September When it Comes” is now playing.  The haunting duet between Johnny Cash and his daughter, Roseanne. A song that my dad and I have sung together, yet never do it justice. A song that leaves both of us teary eyed at the end.

“I plan to crawl outside these walls
Close my eyes and see
And fall into the heart and arms
Of those who wait for me
I cannot move a mountain now
I can no longer run
I cannot be who I was then
In a way I never was”

And now, I am pretty much finished. There is no way I can get anymore packing done, at least not tonight.

I will continue to pack up my 12 years of memories that I have in this place, while looking forward to creating more memories in our new place, and in it all, I will cherish my memories of the soundtrack of my life.


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