Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #720 - AQUARIUS - Let the Sun Shine - a Musical Monday Mix for 1706.26

Aquarius Zodiac sign
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #720 - AQUARIUS - Let the Sun Shine - a Musical Monday Mix for 1706.26

Hi Mom, Here's a mix dedicated to sunshine. Last week we had the first day of summer.

Also, two other things.

Today is the Big Guy's, my Dad's, 82nd birthday. Happy Birthday to Robert Tower, architect, husband, father, caregiver, and handyman. I add the last one because he had a full day handyman odd jobs Saturday between my house and Faye's.

Here's what I shared for the BG's birthday last year:


It's a nice tribute to how great my Dad is.

Also, around this time, this day, Mom, is when you started actively dying two years ago. Actually, it was two years ago on the first day of summer, June 21, 2015.

I wrote about that here:


I think that entry is worth re-posting:

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #350 - A year ago, it began

Hi Mom,

A year ago, today, is the day we consider that you started actively dying. Following our pizza party for Dad's 80th birthday and the 2015 Father's Day, the next day, a Monday, you would not eat.

13 days later you were gone.

But that was a long 13 day period.

So, we're closing in on a year since your death, and I am trying to figure out how I feel.

The obvious feelings are all here inside of me. I miss you. I am sad. I am grieving.

It's the more complicated feelings that I am trying to pin down. Or perhaps, I am trying to pin down the more elusive feelings. Not complicated, just difficult to define.

I have spent all day, today, thinking about this issue, these feelings, you, your death, this date a year ago. I have few answers. But I am about to quit and finish this in the morning. I need to sleep on it. So this will be another post that will be posted late.

I remember last year when Dad called to tell me you were not eating. We had not yet defined at the time that you were actively dying. We did not say those words yet. But we knew it was not a good sign that you would not eat.

There's an emptiness that I cannot define. And I guess, it's this emptiness that is also complex. The emptiness is caused by many things or exists for many reasons. I plumb this depth often, trying to find its shape, its meaning, its origin.

I have learned in this year to examine closely the rational-emotional split inside me. Rationally, intellectually, consciously, I knew you would not live forever, Mom. I knew we were on borrowed time since 2000 when you got the meningitis. I felt that I was prepared. We had so many close calls. So many bedside vigils. But emotionally, I was not ready; I was not prepared. And there's a place in me that has all this emotion for you, Mom, that is empty because it is never refilled with experience with you, at least not physically in person in corporeal form.

It's the adjustment of my emotions that is still in progress and maybe it always will be. Judging by the experiences of others who have lost a parent, or a mother, I can see that the grief goes on and on and on. I know from your own experience of losing your mother that you grappled with that grief for the rest of your life. I expect to do the same.

And so I mark these dates. I reflect. I connect. I strive. I have moved on. I am not trying to hold on to you, Mom. I am celebrating my life as lived now, in the moment, and I cherish the love we had and the loves I have now. And though my life is wonderful, there is something missing, and something I do not want to be missing, you.

Today is a day that I would really like to talk with you, Mom, and I have as best we can now. I hear you, and though it's not the same as it was, it will have to be good enough.

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 352 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1606.21 - 10:10


Now, a year later, I am saying "Let the Sunshine In."

I am a year farther down the path of grief, and I have found that grief becomes manageable. There are flare ups at certain times. Mother's Day was hard. This time period, especially the Fourth of July, will be rough. But not as rough as two years ago, and not even as rough as last year, but the lodestone of pain and loss will always be there, it has just become something that I acknowledge as truth and that I live with.

So, in recognizing the two year anniversary of when you started actively dying, I also recognize that very soon (July 6th) I will reach the two anniversary of this blog feature.

As I have mentioned before, originally, I had chosen to do what I did with the T-shirts blog, 365 of online journal writing and personalized content. But when I neared 365 days of entries in 2016, I decided to keep going. I kept going not because I am clutching my grief tightly and won't let you go, Mom, but because the blog has become a way to celebrate your life, Mom, my life, and all of our lives, the world, everything. In a sense, the blog feature just allows me to dedicate content to you. Sure, I am talking to you, but more often than not, you would not be interested in what I am sharing. What's important is that I am interested in what I am sharing, and maybe, some other readers will find the material interesting, too.

And so, two years removed from your downward spiral, your last days, your ending, I am writing about beginnings and sunshine and positive, happy, and beautiful things, and love. Liesel and I are moving out west. We have a beautiful fur family (and some human family members, too). Life is good. Sure, I miss you, Mom. But I feel you with me all the time. I feel you surrounding me in a loving embrace of spiritual energy. It helps me.

So, I can be positive. I can say that life is good. I can say, "let the sunshine" because it is, it does, and it will.

So, this mix. Obviously, I started with the signature song from the musical Hair and the Fifth Dimension's cover of "Aquarius - Let The Sunshine In." You Tube brings me great gifts for these songs, such as the Bubblerock Promo, but since I also like the straight single version, I framed the mix with both, starting and ending with "Aquarius - Let The Sunshine In."

Maybe this is all super cheesy, I know, but I couldn't resist.

So then songs about the sun or about a wonderful day seemed natural choices. I have always had a weakness for "Soak Up The Sun" by Sheryl Crow. It's such a happy song, such an almost perfect pop song. So even though my wife will criticize me for white appropriation of Hawaiian culture in Crow's video, I had to include the song.

Even though I recently featured it in another mix, I had to include this video of "Hello Sunshine" that someone made with clips from South Lyon, MI in it.

And then You Tube makes suggestions, and I often take them as I like the way I find these things I would not have found otherwise -- serendipity. And so, I come across the Bangles appearance on American Bandstand from 1986 with "Manic Monday" and "If She Knew What She Wants" and Dick Clark interviewing! Also, what someone calls "the best pop song ever written" with "SOS" and commentary from Top of the Pops 2 from the BBC.

Some songs may not seem to fit -- such as "Closer" -- but some change of pace helps keep the mix interesting. I could have saved "Hey Ya!" for another mix but I liked it. The Art of Noise track came up in a recent drive with Liesel, and it felt right to share it. I like this remix. Speaking of Liesel, she's been singing a lot of Carpenters around the house lately, so "Top of the World" seemed right to add to this mix. Ditto the Bill Withers song, which came up on a Pandora station she was playing.

And great videos! Two tracks from performances at the White House with the Carpenters and Stevie Wonder. The aforementioned American Bandstand and Abba live stuff. Bill Withers singing. Elton John live from 1974. Beth Orton in a duet with Ted Barnes from 1998.

U2 at Slane Castle?? Wow. And a Haircut 100 revival that I wish I had been at? Priceless.

Haircut 100's Pelican West is the best pop album that you are not listening to (unless you are). I love that album.

I think this is a great mix.

Welcome to summer.

"Hello sun shine... come into my life..."


1. "Aquarius - Let The Sunshine In" - Bubblerock Promo - The Fifth Dimension
2. "Ain't No Sunshine" - Bill Withers
3. "Moments in Love (beaten remix)" - Art of Noise
4. "Closer" - NIN - covered by Kawehi
5. "Soak Up The Sun" Sheryl Crow
6. "Hello Sunshine" - Super Furry Animals
7. "Beautiful Day" - U2 - Live at Slane Castle (2008)
8. "Fantastic Day" - Haircut 100 - Rewind Festival 2011
9. "Top of the World" - Carpenters - Live at the White House - 1973
10. "Manic Monday" and "If She Knew What She Wants" - The Bangles - Live on American                      Bandstand - 1986
11. "SOS" - Abba -  with interviews from Top of the Pops 2 from the BBC
12. "Hey Ya!" - Outkast
13. "Brighter Than Sunshine" - Aqualung
14. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" - Elton John -1974
15. "I Wish I never Saw the Sunshine" Beth Orton
16. "In the Sunshine" - Arrested Development
17. "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" Stevie Wonder - Live at the White House - 2011
18. "Aquarius - Let The Sunshine In" - The Fifth Dimension (second version)


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 722 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1706.26 - 8:40 EDT

Not waiting on this one. Want to get it up early.
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