When You Think Words Are Not Enough

I can barely hear the faint melody of Glenn Miller’s trombone bellowing out Moonlight Serenade in the next room. I’ve always loved the big band sound, as I was raised on it. My parents played the music of Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and all the rest on our old HiFi in the 60s. Music from the 40s seemed ancient to me as a youngster, but I still appreciated it. Perhaps because they loved it so, I cherished it more. The memories are fond and cheerful. But hearing it now through the walls, the swing music sends tears streaming down my face. My mother is listening to the songs I helped her download onto her iPhone, as she lies in her bed, in the darkness, alone. My father, a few miles away in his bed in the nursing home, is sleeping in the fog and confusion of Alzheimer’s, weeks after his broken hip has healed. The smooth sounds of String of Pearls play at his bedside as often as we can manage. He was a trumpet player in his college band and a bugler on a navy ship. Does he remember? Does he reminisce about the glory days of his youth when he courted my mother? Do the songs playing in his ear evoke the same memories as hers?  What a cruel fate, to still have your husband of 62 years, and yet not have him. What does it do to a woman to be waiting for her mate to heal and come home, all the while knowing that she is really waiting for him to die? And what can I do to make the days, weeks, months not just more bearable, but a blessing? Will words be enough? Time spent?  I feel completely inadequate. The void she must be feeling seems remote and abstract to me, but I am struck by the truth that I can comfort her. I know that words will be enough and time spent with her will indeed be a blessing. And to the buttery trumpet sound of Harry James’ Blues In The Night and The Nearness of You, I will listen to her stories of college and dance halls and movies and anything else she wants to remember.

12 thoughts on “When You Think Words Are Not Enough

  1. Wow Boomerdink, You have brought a tear to my eyes too, and also made me recall the Glenn Miller Bank whom I adore. I know the feeling of inadequacy as well, so know what you are feeling and going through at present. I nursed my Mother here in my own home where she lived with us for ten years. Sadly I HAD to put her into a nursing home for her last 6 weeks, which almost killed me to do. She died a little over 2 years ago and to this day I still feel guilty that I couldn’t take care of her myself till her end. I also nursed my husband for the next 12 months as he suffered the awful deterioation of stomach cancer until his death also. I have been told by others that my Mother had told them that “She couldn’t have wished for a better daughter” – sadly though she never said it to me. I know both your parents know how much you love them both and you have done YOUR very best for them. Take heart from that and just love them no matter what, for you will miss them when they are no longer with you. Hold on tight to all those memories and encourage them to talk about them too.
    Baby Boomer also – Val

    • Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words. It is comforting to hear from others who have had the same experience. I WILL take heart and hold on to the memories. You sound like a neat lady. Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. You need not apologize for being a new blogger – you’re doing great! I love your concise stories and they resonate greatly with me – and with many who are fortunate enough to get in touch with your blog site. Keep it up boomerdink! From someone who’s followed in some of your previous and current footsteps: Boomer98053 from http://www.babyboomersandmore.com. Hang in there!

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