Isn’t it funny. You’re driving down the road, lots of noise and chatter in the car. And then a song comes through the speakers—a song that throws you back to some point in your life. And it feels like a memory, for just an instant, is alive. Unfolding right before you.
I’m pretty sure I could write the story of my life out in lyrics. Lyrics from the songs that played on repeat for a month in my life. A special piece of music that marked an event or events way back when. Even the songs I dislike. Like the one that played over and over again while I was counter girl at the local farm and garden store (It’s Your Love, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill)... That one annoys the *crap* out of me—but it’s there. That farm and garden store. The fantastic smell of fertilizer made from every kind of animal poop imaginable. The speaker I hated to talk into. Especially when I stuttered into it. Yeah...all of it floods back.
I love that about music. It really does get into your soul. Kind of weaves its way through your whole person.
I started thinking about the different songs that do that time warp thing for me. If I categorized them, there would be playlists titled everything from Top 20 Country Countdown in Living Room on Friday Nights with Brother and Sisters to Songs I Dance Awesome to in My Head. (Key words there—in my head.) I couldn’t figure out how to share all the more meaningful ones with you in a single post. So, I might re-visit this sort of thing here and there. I like sharing things like this because it’s nice to write something real once in a while. Take a break from cute crafts and outfit posts and share a little bit more. So, the song I am choosing first would be off my playlist called Phil. It is titled Breathing, by Lifehouse.
So...Where to start?
In my bedroom. In New Jersey.
Never ever been in love. Not ever.
Until right now...talking to a guy. A Marine.
Stationed in California.
Who I ‘ve seen all of once.
But talk to every night. EVERY night.
Phone bills are outrageous. Phone cards last a couple days. And we are always 3 hours off.
Our lives never meet up—not even on the clock. So, he seems unreal at times. Because he is eating dinner, and I’m in bed. And he is fast asleep while I’m going out the door to work. But that phone is all we have. So we spend hours on it. Hours and hours and hours.
Two weeks into our official (distance) relationship, we both know—know—we are gonna get married. It’s not even like he asked me. No proposal. I never asked him. We just were like—yeah, we are soooooo getting hitched. I like that there wasn’t that moment—the question. There was never a question. Not for either of us. So, we just kept talking and laughing. And he was everything to me.
I saw him four times. Four times before September 11, 2001. It had been almost exactly 10 months since our first date. A blind date. I knew I liked him instantly, even then. I can remember clearly thinking, He has terrible fingernails. Bitten down. And a little dingy.
I think I may have loved him right then and there.
We weren’t sure what the following year would bring for his unit. And the phone thing wasn’t cutting it. Not anymore. I wanted to go on dates. Just eating a meal with him seemed dreamy. He wanted to hang out. Just sit. Next to each other. With no good bye looming over us. So.
He got 10 days worth of leave.
And, with the help of my siblings keeping a huge secret and his sister Kim helping us plan, he came home.
We surprised our parents. His dad initially thought he went AWOL. I remember his face. That still makes me laugh. My parents cried. I was the oldest and first to leave.
And we threw a small, quiet wedding in 3 days.
Then we drove back to Cali. Two newlyweds. Ready to start...well, dating;)
I listened to Lifehouse every night after I hung up the phone those months of long-distance love. I fell asleep to my walkman in my ears. Playing the whole No Name Face album. If I could pick one song that summed up that ritual...talking, saying good bye, and then laying there—wishing I could hear him just one more time that night—it would be this one. (I felt like every word in this song was a stolen thought from my heart.)
Breathing. I use to pray that if God would just find a way for us to be together, I would never take Phil for granted. Never.
Well, we’ve been married for over nine years. And he is still my whole world. And, on those days when I forget that prayer, this song reminds me. To be thankful that he is right here. And I can listen to him breathe every night.