I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You

“With the right music, you either forget everything or remember everything.”


Music has a way to clinging to memories, or memories cling to music, I’m not sure which.  So many times in my life, I hear a song and I am transported to a moment in time and I experience the same emotions that I did back then.  One of my strongest memories is linked with I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, by Elvis Presley.  The thought of it makes me smile.

I was 15 years old, and madly in love (as much as a high school girl can be) with a boy we will call Geno, because that is his name.  His blue eyes, wow. Anyway, I liked him for months and did all the silly high school girl stuff, like blushing when I saw him, putting myself in the right hallways so that he was sure to see me, writing endless notes to my friends about him.  All of it. I was sure that he didn’t notice me. We had mutual friends and hung out in the same circle, but I was invisible. Or so I thought.

Our circle of friends were all very involved in our church. (Yes, this witch was Catholic.)  Every year the church did a themed dinner for all of the volunteers and the youth group would work the event.  This year, it was a 1950s theme. All of the girls wore poodle skirts and the boys wore jeans with tee shirts with rolled up sleeves.  We all looked so great and it was a fantastic night.

After dinner was done, we had a dance. I was rather shy so I didn’t really dance with any boys.  My friend was across the dance floor and waved me over. The song comes on, I am walking across the dance floor when someone grabs my arm.  I look over my shoulder and he pulls me into his arms for a dance. Geno. Even thinking about it now I makes me smile like a schoolgirl.

Nothing ever came from it, when never dated, but he made my night. The funny part is, he probably doesn’t even remember.  I don’t care, I will remember it fondly forever. Whenever I hear that song, I go back to that dance, and I smile.

What is your favorite music memory?

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December the fifth

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

~George Eliot

So I am a bit behind, but I really wanted to write this, so here we are.

December 5th, is an important day for a few reasons, but this one is especially close to home.  It is my step-dad Warner’s birthday. He passed away after a long battle with alzheimer’s 10 years ago.  I miss him now the same as I missed him that terrible day, but I chose not to think about that too often, I remember the good times that came before his illness.

It is often said, what is remembered lives.  So I remember…

When I would give him a gift that he really liked he was say “oh man!”.  That’s how I knew he really liked it.

When he moved to Texas for work when I was in high school, we would email back and forth all the time.  I cherished those emails, especially because he was a man of few words, and those words were just for me.

When is used to drink Grand Marnier that came in those purple bags.  They were the same color as his fraternity colors so he kept them. I still have a few.  

When I was sick and home from school, he would sit with me, him in his chair, me on the couch, with my pillows and blankets and we would watch old war movies.

When, on my first communion, he dressed up in a suit just to take a photo with me because I was all dressed up.

When I brought home a signed pictures from the Olivia Newton-John concert.  His face was priceless. Thanks to my best friend Emmie, we shared a love of her.  

When I got married and we danced to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.  He wore his blue suit, the one that he is buried in. He collected me at the table for our dance, then walked me back afterward, a true gentleman.  I have a picture of this dance on my wall. I have been divorced for years, but it is one of my favorite memories of him.

Everytime, I hear that song I know he is with me.  Often it is when I am at a low point and I need support.  I will never forget the first time, after his burial, my family whet back to my mom’s house.  It was American Idol night and that was a pretty big deal for us back then. We put on the TV, turned to the show, and BAM.  They were singing “What a Wonderful World”. We cried, but it was a good cry. He was saying that he was there, and he still is.

Happy Birthday, Warner! If what is remember lives, you will live forever.

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