The sweet melody lifted me into the sky. Every note caressed my heart and soul. And when I sang along with it, it was simply unbelievable. There was nothing more beautiful in my world than this. It didn’t seem possible that within a few hours such a wondrous creation could be born.
It looped in my mind and I heard it playing even when it wasn’t being played aloud.
When it was playing, I was soaring.
When it was playing, I felt a warm tingling sensation in my heart.
When it was playing, colors glowed and seemed brighter.
When it was playing, I felt joyful and happy.
And when it was playing, I was glad I was alive.
The recording was rough – it wasn’t even a Pro Tool’s file on my computer yet. It was simply a few keyboards recorded through a “midi channel.”
The instruments were sparse and more would be added to it at my next session with George in the coming week. When it was finished, I would play and record my guitar to add to it. Only a week ago, I performed “Hang On” at Kulak’s Woodshed. The guitar chords were very complex and I was so pleased that I hadn’t made any mistakes. The audience was very warm and I was embraced with my song of hope.
As I listened to my beautiful arrangement in progress, I easily imagined hearing it on the radio. I dreamed of seeing it on YouTube and knew that many people would be touched and inspired hearing it.
I couldn’t wait to sing a vocal and hoped my voice could do my song justice. I would definitely add this version of “Hang On” to my audio book.
My old arrangement was surpassed!
Below is a link to my first arrangement of this song and story:
suc . cumb (intransitive verb)
1. give in
2. die from something
Synonyms: yield, submit, surrender
The title for this story is a line of lyrics from my song “Hang On.”
The reason for the definition above is simple. Here is how the word succumb fits into my lyrics for “Hang On.”
Though you are numb, do not succumb.
I wrote my song “Hang On,” not long after I composed “The Unknown.” It helped heal me from my own pain tremendously.
Living with numbness was how I operated for decades. I did not allow myself to feel anything.
Hanging on was also my way of coping. While I was hanging on, I held on tightly and allowed others to help me. I hung on with others who were also suffering like I was.
Hanging on represented something temporary, so I was still able to dream about a future without pain.
Although I was inspired to write my lyrics related to grief, hanging on also applied to other things in my life. I’ve hung on through my divorce.
And at this moment my mother is hanging on. I am holding her tightly and we are hanging on together. I know one day our pain will go away. Love is what keeps my mother hanging onto life. But I also know that with her death, love never leaves. I feel calm and accepting and treasure this because the alternative would erase my joy and detract from my own life.
Succumbing to grief happens. I’ve watched many people succumb to their grief. Health issues resulted and even an early death. It was awful and sad. I have been proud of my survival of grief, and prouder still of allowing happiness into my life.
It was because I was determined not to yield, submit, surrender or succumb to my grief. When my child died, my grief was so powerful and suffocating that it left me trampled on the ground.
But I didn’t lie there.
I crawled and moved forward. It was love that kept me going.
Succumb is not a pretty word to sing. But it does tell my story.
Update on my mother’s condition:
Message from Dr. Sam:
Hi Judy…. I agree with what you are doing…there is a big push now to put elderly patients on hospice, ending their life and the associated costs of treatment. Sometimes, of course, hospice is valuable…when patients have terminal diseases and wish to be kept comfortable at home or in their facility. But your Mom still seems to get enjoyment out of life, continues to eat, and obviously enjoys seeing you and going to lunch. I think that the kind of treatments you are giving her are perfectly appropriate…no hospitalization does NOT mean no care, and make sure you keep reminding the nursing home of that, and what your wishes are.
I had an 86-year-old practicing attorney admitted to a local hospital with a fractured shoulder…they tried to put HIM on hospice, after he became disoriented from too much pain medication. His daughter, also an attorney, had a fit and stopped them…but we are seeing more and more of this, unfortunately…Sam
Wow, thank you, Sam. I think every situation is unique to what the person wants. My father wanted to die and I followed his wishes. I know my mother really clings to life and this would be what she wants. She doesn’t seem to be suffering, and very much enjoys seeing my brothers and I. Although the rest of the time can’t be easy for her – Miriam sure helps. Judy
Message from my middle brother:
Judy, how is mom today?
I checked in on her yesterday and spoke with Miriam this morning. She’s off oxygen!
I think she made it through the stress of receiving gamma globulin and is getting her strength back. It sure doesn’t seem to be a hospice situation like it was last week.
An administrator from her nursing home called to admonish me for insisting they arrange transportation to the gamma appointment that I was able to insist upon. She said, “It’s not our policy to switch things around at the last minute.” I became irritated when she began lecturing me.
But I turned it all around by saying, “You’re calling me – but I should have called you first! Thank you for taking my mom to that life-saving appointment.”
After that, the woman didn’t really know what to say. I told her this was not a regular thing at all. I would have carried mom myself to gamma if I had to.
Message from a friend:
My, what a saga, Judy. It proves once again that a person definitely needs an advocate.
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