This morning, I was tooling along down the freeway on my way to work. As I drove, I flipped through the radio stations, as is my wont to do (gotta love those radio controls set into the steering wheel). Flip, flip, flip. I end up on a station with the traffic report so I pause long enough to see if there is any impact on my drive time. After the announcer is finished with her report, a song starts to play. Tender Love by the Force MD's. Blast from the past, right? For me, that song isn't about a love gone awry or anything romantically related. I'm sure that I've mentioned it previously but the instrumental version of this song is what I listened to almost non-stop the week after my father died in 19-ought-86. He'd died on Sunday March 23rd and I left for Hawaii for a chorus competition the next day. The instrumental version was the B-side to the actual song. I owned this on a 45. (Excuse me while I take my Geritol) Anyway, I'd recorded it onto a cassette tape (oops, wait, gotta rub some Ben-Gay on the arthritic fingers here) because I liked the piano part more than the actual single with all the formulaic R & B singing. For some reason, my 16-year old grief addled self felt comforted by the repetitive piano part of that song. As you might guess, for that reason Tender Love has a very strong emotional connotation for me. I haven't listened to it in over 20 years.

So hearing those opening piano notes this morning out of the blue was like being t-boned by a mack truck you didn't see speeding toward you. Tears immediately started spilling from my eyes. I was a bit shocked at first. Honestly, you'd think after 22 years I'd have some distance to at least keep from crying out of the blue like that. Luckily I didn't start all out bawling - just a few hastily wiped away tears that didn't even ruin my make-up.

Just shows to go you that while you may move on, even come to terms with the loss of someone important in your life, the grief and pain never fully goes away. While I know this to be a fact, it loses its impact until the Force MDs come out of nowhere and throw that left hook into your gut.
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