Please excuse me once more. Our family remains in that mourning season of life. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, Wednesday, August 22, 2018. Dad asked his children to take him to mom’s gravesite in honor of what would have been her 91st birthday and their nearly 76 years together. We took flowers, mostly purple–mom’s favorite color, and mom’s “favorite” sons, grandson, and son-in-law (and me) joined dad. It was Frank’s (mom’s eldest son), first visit since her funeral in March. And dad’s second. I thought everyone faired okay given the occasion of one of those “firsts” that survivors must endure after the loss of a loved one. But, dad told me Frank and he talked later that day and the visit to the gravesite had set them back months in their mourning process.
Then, while driving to dad’s the following day as I’ve done every day since mom passed, this 1991 song “Love, Me,” written by Skip Ewing and Max T. Barnes, and sung by American country music artist Collin Raye began to play over my car’s radio. Its words tore at my heartstrings because it was so my parent’s story.
“Love, Me,” tells of a young couple who promised to love each other. The song’s narrator tells of being with his grandfather and reading a note that was written by his late grandmother back when both grandparents were just teenagers. (A story very similar to my parents.) The grandfather explains that he had intended to meet her at a certain tree: “If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me / I’ll meet you when my chores are through, I don’t know how long I’ll be / But I’m not gonna let you down, darling, wait and see / And between now and then, ’til I see you again, I’ll be loving you / Love, me.” As I have written in earlier posts, my parents prided themselves on taking care of their family and therefore, often, they put chores and work first.
In the second verse, the narrator and his grandfather are at a church where they stopped to pray and the grandfather reads his loved one’s note and begins to cry, that is the first time that the grandson saw his grandfather crying. But, to me, in the second verse it’s my dad at mom’s graveside saying ” Darling, I don’t know how long I’ll be; But I’m not gonna let you down’ please just wait and see; And between now and then, ’til I see you again, I’ll be loving you; Love, me.” And these words are near exact to the words my dad uttered to my mom when he said goodbye to her at her funeral in March.
And today, rather than me focusing on my chores at dad’s, we just spent quality time chatting about earlier family days and our ancestry. I hope you enjoy this song: