Holiday Music and Reminiscing

 My Grandmother was a huge part of my childhood. 

I have written about her before, but she deserves to have so many stories about her shared. My grandmother and I made many memories together. They didn't all make sense then, but now looking back at the times we spent together, her mental health issues make a lot of sense. 

I don't think she was ever a happy person. She self-medicated with booze, men, and gambling. She loved me though, with a ferocity that I am just coming to understand. It was her 90th birthday at the end of summer and all of her kids got together for the first time in no one knows how long. My grandmother is currently deep in the clutches of dementia, and because of that and her other mental health concerns, she is heavily medicated and not always present mentally when you are with her physically. 

I went with my aunt to pick her up for the party. My aunt prepared me to see her. It had been an embarrassingly long time since I had last seen her. She warned me that she would be very frail and that she probably wouldn't remember me. The elevator ride up to her room I steeled myself to not cry. Today was not about me, it was about celebrating her. When we got to her room I let my aunt go in first. She sounded a little spacy and confused. When I popped around the corner though she looked at me and said my name. 

Somehow no matter what kind of day she is having, she remembers me. She remembers my kids. I don't know how the brain works. I know that her illness continues she will forget all of us, and she will fade. Her memory will always be a blessing and I will share her with as many people as I can make listen about her.  

I am going to visit her today, I am going to hug her if she will let me, I am going to tell her I love her. But most importantly I am just going to go sit with her and listen if she feels like talking. 

When I started this post I didn't realize how melancholy it was going to be. So let's stick with that theme and pick a slightly melancholy holiday song. For many, the holidays are not something to look forward to. They may be lonely, or not be able to spend time with family. 

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues sounds like a song that you would hear at a bar Christmas party. It has the melody of many Irish drinking songs and fun lyrics. If you listen more deeply you will hear the actual message of two people that started in love and have fallen very much out. The song was released in November 1987, and took two years to write. The song itself has quite the story about it, and many tragic things have happened to the people who sang it. It's worth the Google if you have a few minutes to spare. 


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