I have been trying to sit down and write this post for almost 2 months. With Journey's IV playing in the background and the alternative to go back to Pesach preparations perhaps I am now ready. Journey's IV was one of the main CDs playing in my car on the many trips to the hospital when Rachel was in the hospital before Channah was born and the weeks Channah was in the NICU after she was born.
Music played a huge role in Rachel's life. Whether it was playing or teaching the piano or listening to her eclectic range of music it was something that she always needed around her. Music reflected her life. It was part of her.
The last month of her life shared the same roller coaster/yo yo qualities of her life since losing Gabi. It started with the harshest migrane she had to deal with. The extra medication to break it fuelled a horrible depression that resulted with the police showing up at my door at 3am. Over Channukah she surrounded herself with the right people and activities that helped pull her out of the depression. Taking stock of what happened Rachel and I had a conversation that lasted all night. Every issue that we had in our lives together was discussed and put to rest. Rachel lived her last two weeks with a determination to reclaim her life was a tremendous gift that I am grateful for.
First night Channukah, Channah had a sleep over and we had our first night out together in a very long time. Depression took it's grip on what we had hoped to be an enjoyable evening. When Rachel wanted to just call it a night and let depression win, I refused to let her. We saw the movie Pitch Perfect. Rachel was so shocked that I told her that I liked the song 'Titanium' that she bought it as well as the rest of the album on the way home. It was played a lot over those two weeks.
About 3 weeks into Shloshim, the silence in the apartment was starting to get to me. This was something that had never happened to me before. As soon as Shloshim was over, I had myself surrounded by Rachel's music all the time. The Soundtrack from Pitch Perfect still speaks to me and I often have it cycling through for hours at a time. I am going to share a few songs from the soundtrack and how they speak to me.
Don't Stop the Music -- The music of Rachel's life was turned off way to early. When I surround myself and appreciate music, it not only helps me feel that she is part of me but also putting into practise of what she taught me the power music has.
You shout it loud, but I can't hear a word you say I'm talking loud, not saying much I'm criticized, but all your bullets ricochet you shoot me down, but I get up
I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose fire away, fire away ricochet, you take your aim fire away, fire away you shoot me down, but I won't fall I am titanium you shoot me down, but I won't fall I am titanium
When I’m gone, When I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my hair
You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
This song makes me think about how much I miss Rachel, but also the cup game was very popular during our time together in NCSY. It reminds me of the time, at the beginning of our relationship.
I Saw the Sign -- This was one of the popular songs that to me defines a summer as a CIT at camp. At camp I decided to daven 3 times a day. The 2nd Shabbat after I came home, I decided to "Keep Shabbat until hockey season starts." That was the year of the first NHL lockout. It was the best chance I ever had of making the Select team. I walked off of a number of tryouts because they fell on Friday night or conflicted with an NCSY Shabbaton. Those decisions paved the way for Rachel to enter my life and setting the path for where I am today. Decisions I have never regretted.
Just the Way You Are --
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
(I was thinking bout her, thinkin bout me)
I know, I know
(Thinkin bout us, what we gon' be)
when I compliment her she won't believe me
My nickname for Rachel was 'Beautiful'. There were times she got upset with me because I used it so much that she accused me of forgetting her name. A name is the essence of who a person is. It probably around her last 6 months that she started to believe me that I loved her for who she was. She often felt that others saw her as not good enough and if they would abandon her if she didn't have give them what they wanted.
Bright Lights/Magic Medley --
I've got the magic in me
Every time I touch that track it turns into gold
know everybody knows I've got the magic in me
Rachel's creative talent was incredible. She could do whatever she put her mind to.The same applied for various challenges and repairs for Channah.
Rachel had one friend that used to love buying bangle bracelets from Rachel. The friend would ask her how come after years they didn't need polishing. She would say "It's Magic". Shortly after Rachel passed away that friend contacted me. They had started to tarnish. The 'magic' had worn off.
Price Tag/Don't You Forget About Me/Give it Everything Tonight --
Seems like everybody's got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night,
When the sale comes first and the truth comes second,
Just stop for a minute and smile,
Everybody look to the left,
Everybody look to the right,
Can you feel that yeah,
We're payin with love tonight,
It's not about the money, money, money,
We don't need your money, money, money,
We just want to make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag,
Rachel was always about doing what was right. She would never care about the toll it would take on her.
Give me everything tonight,
For all we know we might not get tomorrow,
Rabbi Orlofsky told me at the Shiva that Tzadikim get a nevuah that there time is up. Rachel's last night she had gone to the Kuppah for medication and was supposed to go home to sleep off the migraine. She was determined to keep a promise to Channah to make a minor purchase for her. She did the very best to make the most of her very last day. Something I am grateful for.
Music was Rachel's life. No matter which direction my life takes, I hope that music can be a part of my life, the way Rachel taught me it should.