• Carmen Milligan

Some Tuesday Reflection...

I have always understood that evening is a time for emotion. I don't know if it's because it's the end of the day and I am tired, if it's because I have always had a least one cocktail, and/or the dark of the evening offers a moment of inward meditation.

Tonight while I was sorting through dinner ingredients, I asked Alexa to play one of my playlists. The playlist she chose was the "Disney hits" playlist (don't judge me). I was so taken from the very beginning that I had to leave the kitchen to sit on the sofa so I could give the music my 100% attention.

The first song that played was "You've Got a Friend In Me" by Randy Newman. It is, of course, from Toy Story which is a movie that the boys and I watched a lot when it came out. But, now the song reminds me of my fabulous friend Ronnie, who passed from cancer this past March. I felt about Ronnie the way the songs' lyrics portray a steadfast love, but I am not sure he ever really knew that. It makes me happy that I knew him, sad that he may not have known how much I loved him, and grateful that I have wonderful memories of the two of us.

Then a song from "Coco" came on. Every time I watch that movie, it moves me to tears, it is so beautiful. This song reminded me of the young men lost in the past few years. I personally know of four young men who passed, two from suicide and two from taking a stupid, tainted pill. The song reminded me of the memories kept alive by families, the day set aside to honor and celebrate loved ones who have died, and the possibility that they are still among us. It makes me think that we should all celebrate the Mexican "Day of the Dead" because it is a beautiful way to celebrate those we loved so very much who are no longer with us.

After that, a song from "Monster's Inc.", which was a very playful buddy movie. This one reminded me of the bond that Chase and Jack have as twins, and the constant friction between the two of them and Strat. Strat was always by himself, while the twins were always with one another. One time, I was looking for Strat when he was probably about 3 years old. I found him on the floor, in the corner of the living room, behind a chair, playing with a toy. "I want to be awone!" he said, when he realized I was there. He is like me in so many ways, including the fact that he needs a lot of "alone time".

And, finally, anything from Mulan makes me think of all three of my boys. It was, by far, their favorite Disney movie, and I know for a fact that they still listen to "Make a Man Out Of You". I listen to it because my childhood heartthrob, Donny Osmond, sings it. They love it because it reminds them of a wonderful time in their childhood, and for that, I am very grateful. And, let's face it, what parent hasn't thought, "Heed my every warning and you might survive"? It's just perfect.

Being a parent is a blessing, a privilege. I am thankful that there are songs that have the power to take me back 20 years to when I had three toddlers, the power to fill me with the love of a long friendship now gone, and the power to honor those sweet spirits gone from their families far sooner than ever expected. The power of music memory is a wonderful thing.

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