And here we are. It is July.
Saving the details, I’ve been back home to see my parents twice in just a few months – I have just returned, actually. My dad had quadruple bypass open heart surgery several weeks ago now – though it seems like it was just days, really. I documented various moments of the visit on my Instagram account (which is full of other interesting things, might I add, so feel free…)
The night before his surgery was a dark and stressful one. My mom and I stayed in his hospital room. Due to major discomfort, among other things, my dad didn’t sleep much that night, so in the darkness I sat trying to remember words to songs he liked – Michelle by the Beatles, I Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos and others – at times like this, where a specific kind of memory is needed, it’s unsurprising how much it fails you, so I hummed a lot of the verses I couldn’t remember or just repeated the ones I could recall.
The next day, his surgery day, waiting for him to come out, was the longest day… but the week following I spent in the hospital watching nurse after nurse come in every few minutes is a blur. But I do remember fetching the cello he keeps at the house and taking it to the hospital to his room. I played for him every day I was there, minus one, and fiddled from a very large print music book called the “popular song book” which he bought for himself (my dad is an amateur every-instrument musician but has really taken to the banjo and ukulele). I opened up to this song and immediately remembered how utterly beautiful it is, and because he was sleeping most of the time, I found myself going back to this song to play again and again, over and over.
I felt like getting it out to play again today, and I was reminded all over how much I love it. So I sat in my tiny Brooklyn apartment bathroom tonight and did a quick version of it, just like I played for my dad as he recovered in his room post-surgery.
And, how is everything, you’re wondering? Well, his surgery went well – a great thing considering he was a high risk patient – but while the world of science and medicine can be a wonderful one, the world of the mind and body, in many ways, is far more vast, mysterious, and complex…and so we sojourn on, one day at a time, hoping the next will be riddled with less pain, more gratitude, more empathy and more love than the day before.
The original recording of this song, which appeared in Disney’s Cinderella in 1950, is most beautifully sung by Ilene Woods – what a voice.