• Memories in the Music

    by  • April 12, 2012 • Cry, Divorce & Break-Ups • 11 Comments

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    Canon in D <–(Click play, then read. That’s an order)

    Amidst all of the baking and snarky blogging, I still have my moments. They are moments of stunning clarity that tighten my chest, constrict my throat, and nearly stop my heart. Split seconds where a completely ordinary task seems so much heavier, so much sadder. It’s as if a haze has suddenly been cast around the tiny things that seem to matter in our day-to-day lives, but somehow mean nothing in the grand scheme.

    Sometimes, it’s a scent that triggers these bouts of emotion, but more often than not, it’s a tune. A few simple notes, strung together, played to make your heart feel things you never knew it could. It may be with a movie, with a man, or with a perfect summer day, but music makes us fall in love. And there’s nothing like an unexpected tune to bring a physically emotional memory flooding back to you.

    They say that music can even help an Alzheimer’s patient to remember what they never could. In my case, music reminds me of moments I’ve chosen to forget.

    When this song came on my Pandora station today, my heart leapt into my throat. I was no longer sitting on the red couch in my office, checking my email. I was in the back of a crowded church. My heart was burning and my eyes filled with tears as I let go of my sister’s hand and she made her way down the aisle. My father looked down at me, and I could see through my veil that he was smiling.

    “Which doors do you want to take?” he asked with a chuckle, gesturing to the exit doors.

    I laughed.

    “These,” I said with confidence, pointing to the doors that led down the lantern-lined pews.

    And just then, this very song ended. And so did life as I knew it.

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    I'm a 25-year-old ex-wife who spends most of her time cooking and chasing silly men around.

    11 Responses to Memories in the Music

    1. Meg
      April 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Oh, I can feel that hurt right with you. Music really can transport you in two seconds flat. Though it’s not exactly the same, of course, I had years in which I could not listen to any of the favorite bands my first love introduced me to — just hearing the tunes reminded me of perfect spring days in his apartment, those feelings of love and longing that hurt so much when they were gone. I took most of it off my iPod, though it pained me, because I just couldn’t deal with those emotions rushing back in the middle of a work day! “Shuffle” mode became my enemy.

      • Ring Finger Tan Line
        April 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

        Shuffle and Pandora both! I was taking a nice, relaxing bath yesterday with a COMPLETELY NEW Pandora station, and that same fucking song came on again. I couldn’t change it unless I wanted to get electrocuted. I actually cursed Pandora aloud.

    2. April 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I can’t say that I fully understand the emotions you’re having. I have had a breakup that sucked, but nothing like what you have been through. I hope you don’t beat yourself up too much when you have these rough days, because it is normal, and it’s when you stop feeling that emotion that you become less human, less lovable and willing to love, and then you should be worried.

      Beautifully written.

      • Ring Finger Tan Line
        April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

        Thanks – I try not to beat myself up. It’s hard to explain. I am very at peace with the fact that it wasn’t my fault, and I still did everything I could to save the marriage. But not even that can stop the pain sometimes. Lucky for me, it really does get better over time.

    3. April 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      I could honestly feel the pain through your words. One day you’ll find your prince charming!

      • Ring Finger Tan Line
        April 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

        Thank you! I certainly hope so. But I doubt it will happen for a while. I am no good for nice boys right now. I think I need some more time for myself before I am ready to be the best woman I can for that special Prince Charming!

    4. April 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Girl you have a way with words. To transport me right into your memory and emotion. As a music therapist I see and feel this often. Music transporting people (accidentally) into memories they’d rather not relive. But maybe that is part of the healing process…

      If you need a little cheering, watch this… Music is so powerful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ&feature=share

      • Ring Finger Tan Line
        April 16, 2012 at 10:27 am

        Thank you so much. That video is adorable. It’s amazing what music can do. This really makes me want to fly down to my grandmother (who has Alzheimers) ASAP and play some tunes for her. It’s so painful watching as she struggles to remember things. She has always been the sharpest and wittiest person I know, and I can tell that it kills her not to be on her toes. It breaks my heart.

    5. steph
      January 13, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      For me this happened at Starbucks, in the city waiting on line for a caramel apple cider when At Last by Etta James came on (was my wedding song). Holy lord, my heart rose into my throat then my throat sank into my stomach. all life around me ceased to move and I felt like running with all haste the hell out of there because all the sadness came rushing back. Then I decided that i wasn’t going to let that fool (my ex) ruin this song for me. Then I became upset that I had wasted such a good song on him.. tsk.

    6. Renee
      October 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I can completely relate. Married at 22, will be divorced in a few months at 25 because of his multiple infidelities – one major affair during the wedding planning (!) that he hid from me until I found out a year into the marriage. Sigh. Songs magnify the hurt, but I think what makes my head spin more are the ones that say, “Don’t worry. You’ll find someone some day,” as if that’s the saddest part, or that finding someone in the future is what will fix it. I look at them and say, “Or not – that’s not my goal. I’d rather find myself,” and I repeat as needed.

      We don’t choose these circumstances. We can only choose to be brave.

    7. January 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve been going through your posts, from beginning to end, since last week. I stumbled upon your site due to my love (obsession) with foodgawker and I’ve been hooked ever since.

      First, I’d like to thank you for making my slow days at work less boring.

      Second, I wasn’t going to post any comments until I made it to your newest posts, but something about this entry really struck a chord in my heart.

      I’ve been with the same guy since I was seventeen. I am now 20. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but we’ve been through a lot and he has been my first everything. He was also a very good friend for a long time before we ended up together, and I like to think that’s one of the many reasons we’ve stayed together through everything.

      I have a song that is my love song. I’m sure every girl has one of these, it’s not something new.

      My song is cheesy and cliche’ and comes from the movie A Cinderella Story. It was my favorite movie growing up and I would sit and daydream for hours and hours about Chad Micheal Murray breaking down my door and rescuing me from my horribly painted purple and white bedroom. Sadly, it never happened.

      I digress.

      My love song was I’ll Be by Edwin McCain. It’s the song that plays whenever Chad’s character dances with Hilary Duff’s character in the gazebo and it was the song that made my heart swell with hope that I’d get to experience that someday with my own Chad.

      I thought I had that with my guy at the time, we’d been together for almost a year and everything was great, but now I feel that I was just clinging to something that was new and it was the kind of love that you don’t know each other’s secrets or fears, just the promise of what could be.

      We were lying in bed together, listening to music and laughing when this song came on and we just instantly became quiet. Hearing the familiar lyrics, I just closed my eyes and it took me back to when I was younger, wanting that moment. When I opened my eyes, he was staring at me and I just smiled because I felt like everything was right and perfect in the world.

      So, I did what any girl would presumably do. I smiled even bigger and told him that I had waited what seemed like forever (poor, naive me) to be able to share this song with someone and I explained how important it was to me and how I felt that he was my Chad.

      He then proceeded to break down crying and admitted to me that he had cheated on me within the first week that we had been together.

      I felt ridiculously stupid and numb. I had really thought that if I had ever been cheated on, I would have
      went psycho-bitch crazy and just start beating the shit out of him. But it wasn’t like that at all. I didn’t know what to do, or to say, and he was just crying and crying and all I could think was that I had wasted my perfect fucking song on him and how I just wished that he’d stop crying because that hurt my heart more than what he had told me.

      I feel like this pales hugely in comparison to everything that you’ve been through, but I just wanted to share that with you for some odd, creepy reason. I’ve never really told anyone this, except for my best friend, because everyone knows just how stupidly important that song was to me and I don’t want them to think less of him.

      I guess what I’m trying to say in this whole novel that I wrote to you, is that I know exactly how a song can effect you. It took me forever to be able to listen to it again without cringing and instantly crying. Even now, that song doesn’t hold as much significance as it once did to me.

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