One of the first things that brought Joe and I together was music. You could trace the paths of my childhood by looking at the mixed cassettes that I made year after year. Joe was less of a cassette-maker, more of a band lover, but we were equally moved by what we considered to be good music.
Soon after I met him I got into his truck one day and a song was playing. It is one of my earliest recollections of thinking "WOW" in terms of Joe. As I looked at him with my eyes big, he looked back at me and said, "What, it's not what you think.." I knew what he meant because this song was often confused for a different song by those who didn't know it... I reached into my bag and pulled out a cassette and showed him on the mixed label the name of the song "Yellow Ledbetter". That was the song that was playing (note that this was way before most people ever paid any attention to this song). Our musical respect for each other deepened in that moment, and to music lovers, that means a lot.
Through the years we both went through musical changes. We would say to each other "you have to hear this song" and play newly discovered songs for each other. Lots of times his music was too angry or mean for me. And lots of times my music was too (something) for him. But lots of times, I would find MY CD's in his truck and he would find HIS NEW FAVORITE TRACKS on my mixed CDs. It makes me tear up to just think of this connection between us.
Before the accident, most of the time, on any given day, there was always music playing in my house. During the day it would be some mixture of kids music and adult music that was (mostly) family friendly. Since my kids were babies they have known me to, at some point each day, turn up the music and be crazy with them in the living room. At night, especially on Fridays in the last year, we would play all types of music. We would play it LOUD and it would sound so good in our house. Joe would, well, be Joe. Sing...dance...be a one man band. The kids would run around and be crazy. I would think "my God, it really doesn't get better than this". It was pure happiness. Pure joy for each of the four of us in our family.
There have been only a few glimpses of my musical house in the past two months. A few times I have put a song on and sat in the living room and listened. And it sounds so good. But it is so sad.
I know at some point my musical house will return. I have children. I want them to continue to experience joy and part of joy to us is music. But it is painful right now.