Today would have been my mother’s 71st birthday. She passed 4 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.
Though she never played any instruments, I remember my childhood being filled with music. She’d listen to broadway shows, the Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, the Moody Blues and she absolutely loved Phil Collins. All a far cry from Irish music but music nonetheless.
My fondest memories of my mother include the time she was driving through town in her 300ZX with the T-roofs off blaring Don’t Worry Be Happy and singing along at the top of her lungs. I have to admit at the time I was hoping she’d be blaring The Rolling Stones or Aerosmith and so I could really impress my friends.
I also remember the time I auditioned for The Boston Conservatory of Music without an ounce of musical training. When I got my rejection letter in the mail my mom marched straight into the Dean’s office with steam coming out of her ears. You could hear her in the hallway as she screamed at them wondering how I was supposed to learn music if they wouldn’t let me in.
My fondest memory of all is the 4th of July. For as many years as I can remember, we spent the 4th of July on the esplanade in Boston awaiting the fireworks and the Boston Pops to play Stars and Stripes Forever (which she dubbed as The Duck Song). We’d sit there all day, my mom and friends would picnic, chat, and drink wine while my sister and I would roller skate around the hatch shell until the moment the fireworks went off. We’d all get together and sing as loud as we can “for a duck maybe somebody’s mother…”
So although it’s been hard living without my mother for the past 4 years, today I don’t want to be sad. Today I want to celebrate her birthday and honor her for bringing music into my life the only way she knew how.
I love you and miss you mom. Happy Birthday. This one is for you: