In Rememberance

On Monday May 27, 2013, my mom passed away. She went home to be at my father's side. While saddened by the loss, the strongest emotion I've experienced is one of relief that her suffering has come to an end. I believe it helps that, unlike with my father,  I was a thousand miles away when he passed, I visited my mother the day before she died. She told me then she was dying. We talked about it, and before I left I held her hand and told her that I loved her. Something I never got the chance to do with my dad.

I've spent the past week reconnecting with family, sharing the memories of her life, and of all of us growing up together. She grew up with five sisters and three brothers. At this time one brother and four sisters remain.

One memory has risen to the surface and become fixed in my mind.

In the Zone.

I recently found a clip on Youtube taken from the concert film, The Song Remains the Same,  a movie released in 1976 that featured the group Led Zeppelin. Filmed during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden.

The clip features the song Stairway to Heaven which has become a classic since it’s release in the early seventies. I grew up listening to groups like Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Boston, and The Eagles just to name a few. But this was the first time I even saw the guitar solo by Jimmy Paige halfway through the song, and I was blown away by what I saw.

In the close ups during his solo you’ll notice that Jimmy’s eyes are closed as he’s playing. He has transcended the mechanical melding of guitar and man, the song is not coming from the musical score in his head, it is no longer the act of metal strings being strummed while fingers move to the appropriate fret. This goes much deeper than that. In a sense he has become the song itself and what we hear comes from the depths of his soul. Jimmy has entered the zone. If you were to ask him what he was thinking about while he was playing, I’m willing to bet he wouldn’t be entirely sure himself. 

Discovering Oneself

It is an accepted fact that our upbringing has a lot to do with the type of people we become. How we are raised as children will have a direct bearing on our interests later in life.

I've often wondered myself what exactly it was that compelled me to become a horror writer. The answer of course has been right in front of me all my life. I never recognized it until now. While visiting my mom, who now resides in a nursing home, during one of her lucid periods, we got to reminiscing about the past. Which always begins with, "Do you remember?"

Recently she asked me "Do you remember how your Aunt Jean used to scare you kids?"

Of course I did.