Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pop Music

Isn't it funny how, when you are going through something traumatic (like a break-up or say, cancer), pop music suddenly seems to be targeted AT YOU? The same cheesy classic rock song you've heard a million times will suddenly contain bits of seemingly inspired words and you think, "Man, he's been there, too. Layla actually has him ON HIS KNEES. That poor man."

So I was driving yesterday and of all the freaking songs to come on the radio, it's "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, which was written after his toddler son fell to his death from a window. "Would you know my name/ If I saw you in heaven?/Will it be the same/ If I saw you in heaven / I must be strong, and carry on /Cause I know I don't belong /Here in heaven."

Of course, I instantly think of my young son Rhodes, whom, at age 2, is practically glued to my side. But someday, if I weren't still here, he may barely remember me, or not at all. The thought of it is... (I don't know. Fill in your favorite word for "devastating")

The sad context around which this song was written is pretty heartbreaking, but when you can actually apply it to your own situation, it becomes sort of unbearable. I suddenly started to breathe in a very shuddery way, and I got this urgent, panicky feeling.

Then something AWESOME happened.

I interrupted my own sorry train of thought and did the thought equivalent of grabbing myself by the shoulders and shaking sense into myself. Because I realized that in my heart I actually DO NOT BELIEVE I am going to die soon. I don't think cancer is going to win. I am really beginning to believe that now. It's an exciting breakthrough for me, as there's a big difference between hoping for something and actually believing it.

Of course, the cancer could come back. According to statistics, there's a healthy chance of it. But nothing is written yet, so I guess I'm just going to ignore that and get on with things.

Oh, and for the record, once I had my big realization, the song lost its hold on me and went from being personally gut-wrenching to simply sad.


  1. Congrats!!!!!
    That song always makes me cry.
    Listen to Tom Petty "Won't Back Down" instead. Much better!!!

  2. Again, dusty in here. Sheesh.

    Thank you :)

  3. It's so true. There are a few songs out there that I simply cannot listen to yet because of what events they are tied to.

  4. Sobbing over here! I agree-- Shelly, you're not going anywhere. But even if, your kids will always know their mama, in ways maybe they couldn't put their finger on, but in ways that are indelible. Okay, time for happy butt-kicking songs. Heidi, let's make a mix-tape playlist for Shelly. I think you burned me some Donna Summer and Meatloaf songs that might work... digging now...