Recently we’ve endured some challenging and heavy times. On top of losing my dad, we’ve faced so many other new changes and responsibilities. From the virus pandemic to social issues, not to mention the weight of expecting another baby, lots of things are heavy on our minds and souls. Jared carries a lot of this stress and he somehow is able to handle the load, but even he has started to seek an outlet to tangibly escape and be proactive and preventative about keeping his wits and sound mental health. As the ever admirable Johnny Cash said it, “Get A Rhythm When You Get The Blues”
We have always loved music and been interested in making it a part of our family rhythm. Jared and I have never been musically trained and we don’t consider ourselves to have natural talent in the musical domain. What we do know is that music is good for us. We know we appreciate it in our lives and we want to honor it the best way we can. We believe that whether or not you are a gifted musician doesn’t take away from the fruit of listening and participating in musical activity.
A few years back we purchased a dulcimer and recieved some beginners training about this simple to learn instrument. We all played around and learned for awhile until the strings became out of tune and some even broke. We got busy with other activities and never got around to caring for the instrument and continuing our journey. In the days leading to my dad’s death we spent a lot of time with him listening to music and playing his favorite songs. We were reminded of our lost love of bluegrass and good artists. We were reminded of our dulcimer. Jared decided to pick up some strings and teach himself how to tune the instrument. He developed this new skill and has built on that by practicing again and playing new songs inspired by my dad’s playlist. After dad’s passing we put together the songs for his funeral and we spent lots of nights with our extended family playing music and singing karaoke in the backyard. It was a healing time for us and a way to share our grief and love as well as express ourselves. It was a way to remember dad and to allow his legacy to live on through us.
It was clear to recognize that music was a positive light and practice during our depression and it’s taught us to turn to it as we face darkness in our lives. It keeps our minds active and alert as well as distracted a bit on creating something real and tactile. It innately lifts the spirits similar to sunshine and movement, it can’t be denied.
I thought it was important to share this subject and encourage you reading this to find comfort in music and forming a place for it in your family’s lifestyle. Whether it’s making it a practice to listen to your favorite playlists and artists, or picking up an instrument yourself, please put it into your routine. You won’t regret it.
Here are some songs from my dad’s favorites.
Keep living for the most loves!