Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Funeral Songs Playlist of My Own As We Honor My Mother

 Favorite photo with my mom, Jane Rush Jansen
I'm busy planning a memorial service this week for my mother. There's relief along with the sadness after watching her slow decline from ALS these past two years, but it's amazing how the details swirl amid the heartache. This is my favorite photo of the two of us from a vacation in Florida long ago. My Mom taught me that culture makes everything worth living and maybe it's genetics, but I have the same love of music. Her favorite genres were Broadway shows, movie scores and all things classical, which was known as "Nana music" to my kids. Yet music also moves me deeply, cutting straight to the core with a vibrancy that fills my being. And as my brother says she liked her music "the louder, the better." Ditto.

On the way to see her last week, the day before she left us/her passing (insert one of the countless terms I've heard recently here), I listened to my own Funeral Songs playlist. I usually punch the lower radio dial for a college radio or NPR station along the way, but I needed a something I count on to last me for hours. It's a fluid list like the recent post listing my Top 25 Concerts, certainly not set in stone until the time comes. Like that or a desert island list (songs you'd take along if marooned), it makes for a lively conversation -- even if just in your own head. Of course, mine is in playlist form and I was even critiquing my order as tears streamed down my face, having to face mortality head on. 

Eddie Argus of Art Brut told me in a PopMatters interview that he named a song "Ice Hockey" instead of "Funeral Song," even though that was the intended purpose. Thought that was a cheeky way to approach things, to use his English term.  So if you'd like to listen to my current collection of blog faves and other tunes that have inspired me along life's path, check it out at link here or below. As I load my laptop with my mother's CD collection to get ready for the event this weekend, I am thankful for this continuing outlet for rejuvenation, however it came my way.