God Be With You Till We Meet Again

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

lyrics and music for hymn god be with you till we meet again

Its no secret that I’ve been a hospice volunteer for over a decade now.  I continue to see my little piece of involvement in end of life care as a privilege and a gift.  I know that when my feelings change, it’ll be time to move on to something else. But I’m not there yet. Even after all these years, sometimes I experience a goosebumps moment.

Recently, I regularly spent time with a bedridden patient and sat with her while her husband got out of the house and ran a few errands.  He’d visit with me a bit, make sure she was settled, assure her he’d be back shortly.  Then he’d take off to take care of the little things that we don’t even think about.  Little things become a logistical issue when you’re a full-item caregiver.  While he was gone, she and I would visit until she tired, then she’d rest.  I’d stay close, within touching range, in her line of sight, and I’d read a book until he returned.  She always woke up when he returned.

One visit, while she was sleeping, he initiated a frank conversation about her death and his own life after she was gone.  He said he’d be okay if she just died in her sleep one night, and that their sons would be around to keep an eye on him.  And he promised me that he’d take care of himself, that he’d be okay.

The next week, while he was out, she spoke to me about how her husband and sons would manage without her. She said she knew they’d be heartbroken and lonely, but that it would be okay anyhow.  She told me she was finally going to see her son again – the one who’d died in a horrific accident decades ago.  She said she’d see me again, but neither of us said “next week”. She drifted off to sleep and I stayed by her side, holding her hand feeling bones and warmth and heartbeat beneath delicate skin .  Her eyes fluttered open as her husband returned from his appointment.  This tiny little bedridden woman flashed me to most brilliant smile then turned her gaze towards him.

We chatted for a bit, then my visit time ended and I prepared to leave. I leaned down over the hospital bed,  she and I shared a gentle hug.  I turned towards her husband, standing right there.  Instead of releasing me from our hug, he pulled me closer, over to her bed. He placed my hand on her shoulder.  He said we were going to sing together, God Be With You Till We Meet Again.  I’m sorry to admit I didn’t know the words.  So I hummed along and listened as she gathered enough breath to get a few of the lyrics out.  He, a man very near his ninth decade, sang with the voice of  youth.  He sang with strength, and sorrow, and utter faith and trust.  We ended the song with tears in our eyes, and we said goodbye.

Then, as he did every single week,  he asked if I’d taken a look at the literature he’d left for me.  Photos and testimonials and pamphlets for a miracle health product which had saved his life.  Yes, it was an amway product pitch, each and every visit. That  slightly awkward multi-level marketing opportunity provided us a transition from this confidential little life story back to the day-t0-day of the world around us.  Plus, you know, it was an amazing opportunity, too.

As I headed  towards my car, I heard the click of the deadbolt, just as I’d heard each and every week since I’d starting seeing these two.  In the car,  I paused before starting the ignition. I reminded myself that goodbyes are part of the deal when spending time with people who are dying.  I took a few breaths, gathered my composure, and mustered up some patience for the inevitable highway traffic I was about to face.  And I drove off.

Later, I contacted the hospice office and asked for an update on the patient’s condition.  I was told that her decline continued but there was no evidence that her passing was imminent.  Of course, we never can tell for certain, but there were no changes that would suggest she would die very soon.

But she knew.  And he knew.  And so did I.

We knew I’d never again enter that overheated room, where she liked the drapes closed  for privacy.  That I wouldn’t  hear about their farm, long since sold,  or sift through and admire photos of children and grandchildren.  I knew that I’d never again gently deflect his requests for me to share marketing materials with all my friends. We knew that we’d not have another opportunity to thank one another for the gift of our time together.

And she passed away, quietly, in her sleep.

Goodbye.

 

 

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Beautiful Day

Beautiful Day

I get a kick out of Awareness Days.  Beautiful Day is observed every November 20th.  The U2 Song, the Muppets,  a Christian pop song, and a (probably forgotten) Beach Boys Song… Who knew?

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So I wandered over to Holiday Insights.  This site contains all kinds of holiday information – traditions, trivia, recipes and more.    And this is what they say about Beautiful Day:

“The world is filled with ugliness. So, as day like today is refreshing, and eye appealing. It’s filled with beautiful sights, sounds and smells.

But, wait a minute. Just what was Beautiful Day created for? We have yet to find the creator. In addition to what we found in our research, we can only speculate as to the intent of this day.

Here is our part fact, part speculative reasons this day was created:

A song by the band U2 is titled Beautiful Day.

The Beautiful Day monster appeared on Ed Sullivan and later Sesame Street. The monster created mayhem and chaos, in his attempt to ruin a beautiful day.

It’s creator wanted to create and enjoy the perfect, beautiful day.

The Beach Boys song It’s a Beautiful Day

As for this author’s choice? Well, I’m just gonna kick back and enjoy this beautiful, God given day!

Have a lovely Happy Beautiful Day!”


Now, about that Beautiful Day Monster… First seen on The Ed Sullivan Show and then later on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  I found out all about him on Muppet Wikia:

“Beautiful Day Monster is a blue Muppet monster best remembered from his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969, ruining a girl’s beautiful day. Three years before, he began life as The Crown-Grabber in an unaired commercial for Wheels, Crowns and Flutes. He has made several appearances in the early years of Sesame Street, on The Muppet Show, and several other Muppet projects. Wherever the Beautiful Day Monster goes, destruction and mayhem soon follows.

Although the monster was known as “Beautiful Day Monster” behind the scenes, he had many names on Sesame Street, such as “Fred,” (in an early Sesame Street skit) “Harold,” “Snookie,” “Lulu,” and “Windy.” He was also a contestant on a 1969 Sesame Street game show, “The Mr. and Mrs. Game,” where he was named “Ralph” and had a wife, also a contestant. For a few sketches, the monster was turned into a female character with a dark black wig, a necklace and a pink ribbon. After the first season, Beautiful Day Monster and most of the other early Sesame monsters were replaced by friendlier looking monsters with brighter colors.

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A small Beautiful Day Monster (used in the original Ed Sullivan sketch when the monster has shrunk) was used alongside the regular-sized monster to demonstrate the difference between ‘little’ and ‘big’, where he was known as “Frank.”

For The Muppet Show, the Beautiful Day Monster puppet was reconstructed and his teeth removed to give him a less frightening appearance. In one memorable sketch in episode 108, he asked a travel agent (Paul Williams) about the cost of a trip to Pittsburgh. No matter what the travel agent offered, Beautiful Day Monster asked “You got anything cheaper?” until the agent dropped a weight on him, flattening him enough to send him by mail. This was his only major appearance in a Muppet Show sketch, although he appeared several times behind Gonzo during the final moment of “The Muppet Show Theme.” The flattened version of the puppet would appear in the At the Dancesketch in the next episode, wearing a wig and dancing with Rowlf.”


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Points to you if you can remember the Beach Boys song.  I couldn’t until I gave it a listen on on youtube: A Beautiful Day, Beach Boys.  Oh yeah… that song!  Now I remember…. umm, sort of.  Well, okay, not really?  Wonder why?

Okay, here’s the scoop.  This was not a Beach Boys hit, and it wasn’t even released on a Beach Boys album.  Mike Love and Al Jardine wrote it, and the band recorded, but it wasn’t until 1979 it was released as part of the soundtrack of the 1979 movie Americathon a prophetic comedy. This flick  which featured an impressive comedic cast (John Ritter, Harvey Korman, George Carlin), some great cameos (Jay Leno, Meat Loaf, Tommy Lasorda), and a soundtrack including tracks by Eddie Money, the Beach Boys, and Elvis Costello.   Sadly, Americathon was not all that memorable, even though the writers kind of correctly predicted the demise of the Soviet Union, the prevalence of reality television, and the sale of public assets to the private sector.  But, hey, we have another song to attach to today, Beautiful Day, so not an entire waste of my research time.


 

jamie-grace-beautiful-day-facebook-cover1Christian pop artist, Jamie Grace, released her Beautiful Day (featuring one of my faves, Toby Mac) a couple of years ago.  Hard to listen to this and not smile?  Beautiful Day, Jamie Grace.  Seriously, you don’t even have to be a follower to enjoy it.


And of course, we can’t have Beautiful Day without Bono and U2’s iconic track.

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There’s no room
No space to rent in this town
You’re out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you’re not moving anywhere….

….It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day

So, there you have it.  Today.  A Beautiful Day. Have one yourself!

Beautiful Day, U2


 

 

Music to Work By

Music to Work By

The right ambience makes a huge difference in my ability to concentrate.

Just lately, I’ve discovered  Spotify’s playlist Intense Studying.  Nice choice of classical music that doesn’t distract and keeps me in a productive groove. Seriously, this playlist makes paying bills less painful. It helped me get through that seemingly endless email organizing frenzy yesterday.   I seem to get more accomplished at my desk when this is playing, and I hear classical music will make me more creative and smart.  I’ll take that any day.

Sign me up.

 

 

Happy Dancing!

100 Movies Dance Scenes Mashup (Mark Ronson-Uptown Funk ft.Bruno Mars) by WTM

Music/Movie Mashups are just plain entertaining.

Oh My Goodness!  This mashup just dropped a week or so ago,  don’t know why, but I’ve watched it over and over and it never fails to put a smile on my face.  Sure hope it does the same for you.

I ought to watch this each morning with my coffee and start the day out right.

If you want to know which movies all the dance scenes came from, just enable closed captioning.