I heard a song tonight which brought back a strong memory, The song is Wildfire by Michael Murphy. In mid summer of 1975 my maternal grandmother, Nanny, was dying. She had an inoperable brain tumor and was at home waiting for the end. At 12 years of age, I’m not even sure I knew exactly what was going on, but the grand-kids suspected.
My mother spent many nights with Nanny and since dad worked early in the morning, my brothers and I slept at my other grandparents. We slept on the floor in the living room, next to the old gas furnace. The only way we could sleep was with music on and my grandparents plugged in an old clock radio which provided both music and a night light. I would lay on the rough throw rug and watch the flicker of the pilot light of the furnace hoping the music would allow me to sleep.
For whatever reason, I remember overhearing my parents talking about Nanny only having a few more days. That night, while tossing and turning on the floor, Wildfire came on and between the flames of the furnace and the sense of loss for both the girl and the singer of the song, it resonated with what was going on with my grandmother. She died a few days later.
I haven’t heard that song in years and years, and with the loss of my own mother, it took me back to that night on the floor and I now understand what my mom must have been going through.
The power of music.