Sitting, listening, tears streaming.
I received a lovely box in the mail yesterday from my Brooklyn boys. Among the gift items was a CD/DVD of Simon & Garfunkel (one of my very favorites!). I decided to let it keep Milton and me company this morning.
It takes me back to Easter Sunday, March 29, 1970. I'm three months pregnant and staying with my parents on the farm. My husband of 10 months is in basic training outside of Chicago. I work at the hospital in a small city, about 10 miles away. There are no cell phones and we only get three TV stations - a few radio stations. I'm off work and enjoying my holiday with family. A call goes out in the night for all hospital staff to come help. I'm unaware and can't respond. The next morning, we learn that there was a terrible fire in town and five volunteer firemen are dead, 27 people injured with 12 admitted to the small hospital. Even in New York, Chicago, L.A., Paris, or any huge city you can think of, this would be front page news. Imagine a population of 8,000. Everyone in the town and surrounding area is either friend or relative, relative of a friend, friend of a relative, works with, goes to church with, or had their life/home saved by one of these killed.
Within the next few days, the fallen were to be eulogized, farewells given and put to rest. Several of the injured remained in the hospital. It was planned to have the audio broadcast on the public address system at the hospital. My mom was working that day and I came in for the 3-11 shift. I was able to ignore the service in the guise of busyness (Didn't want to cry at work!) Until the song. S & G in their pure, melodic harmonies singing, "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
I expounded a bit about the power of music to vividly refresh a moment in time in my post 'The Song Remembering When'. Thus the tears streaming at 7 A.M. I'm back there, back then, trying not to cry, not succeeding, feeling the anguish, feeling the sorrow of the above mentioned people, feeling my own sadness at the loss of so many, so young, so dedicated, from all walks of life, brought together in death by their mutual commitment to life.
I'll never forget. No one should.