Posted on Aug 1, 2016 in Blog |

PART 1 – The Instrumentals
During Dad’s 26 days and nights in the hospital, I listened to particular songs depending on what I needed. The music helped close out the hospital noises, helped me calm my breathing and anxiety, and it gave me a place for my emotions to connect and feel safe.
This music transcended me at times. It felt as though I was talking to Dad in some of the songs, giving words to emotions that were so strong, I wasn’t sure I could survive the pain.
Some of the songs were significant in their melodic tone, some were because of the specific lyrics, and some, because they allowed my tears to flow more easily. And some were my simple prayers to God, pleading for Him to heal Dad.
Some of us connect through words, some through deeds and others through music.
In my pain, when I couldn’t find my words, these songs found them for me.
I probably should have researched what each of these songs meant to the songwriters, but at the time I was choosing them, it didn’t matter. What mattered was how I could maintain hope, a sense of balance, and my connection to Dad.
These are the songs that ended up on my list.

The Instrumentals
A Change in Circumstance – Secret Story by Pat Metheny
The name of this song is what intrigued me originally. It was my ironic understatement for what was transpiring. The entire family always thought Mom would die before Dad solely based on her extensive medical history of strokes. The first two weeks of Dad’s medical crisis, we were all in shock and disbelief that this was actually happening.

Cathedral in a Suitcase – Secret Story by Pat Metheny
This song is what Heaven looks like: grand, opulent, vibrant, joyous.

Epilogue: Writing in the Darkness II – Spiritland by Andrey Cachelero
I found this song a few years ago when I had writer’s block. It took me to that dark place and let me walk around in it instead of just being afraid of and intimidated by it. And then it brought me to the light. And I could write again. It has a haunting element to it, but I think each of our lives has haunted moments. I kept hoping the song would allow Dad and me to walk in this darkness together, and then bring us into the light and to healing.

Facing West – Secret Story by Pat Metheny
In some manner, this song brings me home to the Southwest. One of Dad’s favorite places to watch the sun set was Albuquerque, New Mexico. He regaled the brilliant purples, pinks, and oranges reflecting on Sandia Mountain. He always smiled when recollecting those sunsets. He too, felt it was a magical place. This song takes me back there with vitality, vigor, vivid color, and hope.

The Gift of Time – The Gift of Time by Jean-Luc Ponty
Dad introduced me to Jean-Luc Ponty’s music in the 1970s. Dad tended to be a classic jazz guy, and my uneducated musical insight tells me there is a bit of a jazz base within this song. We both loved it. I kept praying to God to give us more time with Dad. This song helped me believe we would have that time.

Interlude – Growth & Progress by Andy Frasco
This song reminded me that each phase of Dad’s crisis was connected. If I could connect each phase with a calming, peaceful interlude, it might help us ease into the next crisis with a better grounding and faith in miracles.

Introspective Perceptions – The Gift of Time by Jean-Luc Ponty
This song connected me to Dad’s soul.

New Mexico – Can You Hear it Ring? by Glen Kuykendall
I went to high school with Glen. I didn’t know him well, but a classmate reintroduced me to his music and I fell in love with it. Jeff and I spent a few weeks driving all over New Mexico, without any itinerary. It was one of the best vacations of our lives. No radio, no set plans, just out driving and turning wherever we felt the urge. Glen’s musicality captures the open spaces that lay before us.

The Orchard – Phenomenon by Thomas Newman
The movie this song is from always resonated with me, which is probably why the song does as well. Again, great percussion throughout which gave me a foundation of strength, hope and determination. It reaffirmed my belief in the inexplicable, unexplainable and unlanguageable.

Other Nature – Cloudland by Whitetree
This gave me a palatable pace to keep to. Not too fast, sometimes it quickened and then slowed, crescendos and softening as needed. It seemed to fit what was happening at the time, but it soothed my fears.

Our Healing Flowers – Aromatherapy by Llewellyn
This song was my most often prayer request to God to heal Dad’s lungs. The melody made it easy for me to visualize and offer my healing energy to Dad, sprinkling healing fairy dust around the room and surrounding him with light and love. I could also envision Dad’s angels protecting him and comforting him.

Prelude Oculus – Oculus by Paul Speer
The beginning of this upbeat song drove me to action, to determination. It helped me maintain focus and rhythm.

The Room – Cloudland – by Whitetree
I saw myself in this room with Dad’s soul; quiet, simple, at ease. No bustling hospital noises, no alarms, just our souls resting and restoring to fight the sepsis again the next day.

Sacred Place – Yin-Yang by Victor Wooten
I was introduced to Victor Wooten when Jeff and I went to Wolftrap Park for the Performing Arts to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Victor was the bass player and nothing short of phenomenal. Again, an old high school acquaintance reminded me of Victor and directed me to his solo music. This song brought me solace, sacredness, and security. It was my quiet prayer to God to please heal Dad.

Sacred Silence / The Jam Man – Live in America by Victor Wooten
This guy can play the bass better than anyone else I have ever seen. This song reminds me of watching him on stage, totally into the music. It gave me focus and a smile to listen to Victor shred those chords.

Stillpoint – Healing Music Project Awakening by Steven Halpern
The repetition in this song calmed my anxiety. The melody offered me hope for Dad’s healing.

Tangerine – Cloudland by Whitetree
The discordance here validated the trauma happening with Dad. I was on unsure footing and desperately trying to find a new balance. Out of the discordance came a frequency I could attach to and stabilize. The pace is strong, reliable, and defiant in a way that I thought Dad might defy the odds of his final outcome. The percussion added to the defiance and determination.

Taos Hum – Southwest by Nancy Rumbel
Taos, New Mexico is also a transformational place for me, instrumental in getting me on the road to being a published author and reawakening my spirituality. This song from the Land of Enchantment brought me back to the magic, spirit, and hope for healing and happiness.

Taos – Homecoming by Ken Bonfield
The repetition in this song calmed my breathing and eased my anxiety. Again, Taos holds great magic for my heart and this song brought me back there to experience the double rainbows, the spectacular sunsets, and the spiritual awakenings.

Walking in the Air from “Snow Man” by Mari Fujiwara
Childlike, happy smiles, connection. This song also brought memories of seeing the Grand Canyon with Mom and Dad. The tremendous energy, vistas and greatness of the Canyon resonates with me almost 50 years later from the first time I saw it.

The Wind Forest from “My Neighbor Totoro” by Mari Fujiwara
Gave me hope that our struggle would end on a happy note.

White Sands – Woven Cord by Iona
Dad’s career in military defense began at White Sands, New Mexico. I have wonderful memories of playing there with my sisters and Mom as a young child. Decades later, I went back and experienced a significant spiritual awakening on each of the four times I went. White Sands is where I decided to write my first book and finally begin my career as a published author. I felt an emotional connection to Dad at White Sands and in this song.

Part 2 – The Songs with Words – coming soon.