Tuesday’s Tunes: Dulling The Pain With Alan Jackson.

20 Mar

On the drive up to Shriner’s Hospital for my second surgery in 2003, my mom and I stopped at Best Buy so that I could get a new cd as a present. I picked Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits Volume Two. From the time until I bought that cd until I went into the operating room for my second surgery (and afterwards), that cd played in my Walkman. Now, when I hear a song from that album, I think of how I replayed that cd in order to drown out fear. I remember my roommate at Shriner’s, Jocelyn, and her bouncy blonde curls and heavy southern accent. I remember how Jocelyn and I would go to the computer room down from our room and play Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, laughing at how much money we “won” or “lost.”

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how specific songs have brought me back to a specific moment, a specific time in my life. But in terms of the Alan Jackson album, I’m not only reminded of specific memories, I’m reminded that music could also make me happy. Though my parents most likely got sick of the fact that I listened to that cd on repeat for months, it dulled the pain in a way. Or rather, it brought a small smile to my face in between the grimaces of pain. When I think of the Alan Jackson cd though, I remember how it didn’t take me long at all to memorize the words. I remember listening to it as Jocelyn wished me luck in surgery, and then later learned that she had been discharged while I was in surgery, but chose to not go home until after my surgery to make sure that I was okay. Or as okay as could be expected. I remember the good things. The things mixed in with the bad that reminded me to keep trying even though all I wanted to do was cry.

I’m beginning to see that not all the memories in my book will be sad. As I push through the really bad ones, I’m reminded of the good ones (from the hospital)….like dulling the pain with Alan Jackson, my first hospital roommate (Ginny), the benefits of craft night, the weekly visit of the therapy dogs, the ICU nurses….and more that I can’t think of right now. When I visited my best friend Skidmore this past weekend and she read what I’ve written so far in regards to my book, she suggested that I alternate chapters between good and bad memories. She pointed out that a “happy” chapter may be a nice breather in between the really sad, painful tear-jerker type chapters, which is a good point.

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11 Responses to “Tuesday’s Tunes: Dulling The Pain With Alan Jackson.”

  1. deanjbaker March 20, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I can relate.. thanks for this

  2. fiztrainer March 20, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I can so totally relate to what you wrote here. There is certain music I can’t listen to because it brings me back to an extremely painful time in my life. Then, there is that music that does just what you described. You are swept back into the mix of emotions – good and bad – and somehow you feel sentimental about it. Music affects me so deeply. Loved this post.

  3. J.D.F March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    music is an amazing thing… thank you for bumping into me on the wordpress – your words are inspiring.

  4. margiewrites March 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I’ve also used music to get through and over things before. One particular album used to remind me of a guy (lame, I know). It did hurt for a while to hear the songs, but I forced myself to listen to it a million times until it no longer reminded me of him anymore and I attached them to new memories. So it is possible to alter your memories associated with albums.

    Also, I like your friend’s suggestion of arranging chapters by good and bad memories.

  5. stephenedwards425 March 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Your voice is clear and pure…keep it up…we need you.

    Be encouraged.

  6. belasbrightideas March 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Music has always had the same effect on me. My life was filled more with emotional pain, at times extreme. And I can instantly recall my sentiments and feelings from the time by listening to a certain song. And when those memories are baby’s blanket soothing, nothing feels better. When they are not, I always have the option to switch the music off!
    Nice post, Amelia.

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