Sunday, November 13, 2016

Music wove through our relationship like a golden thread. 
Like many couples we had our special song while dating: Rob, the musician, deemed it Chicago Transit Authority's Beginnings. To this day, I can't help but smile when I hear the brass chime in.
We'd spend hours in my parents' basement, listening to Rob's Columbia Record collection; we almost wore out the grooves of Deja vu and Abbey Road. My mom would finally yell down, "It's a school night!" and Rob would pack up his vinyls...and my heart.
We were married in 1976 when contemporary Christian music was still obscure, so we had to search for a current song that complimented the likes of Trumpet Voluntary. That was no easy task for two 21 year old's with unsophisticated taste, but we were pleased with Cousin Kathy's rendition of Here, There and Everywhere. Would I ever guess the line, "watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there," would send chills through me today?  

As poor newlyweds, our date nights usually found us in the aisles of Sound Warehouse on Westheimer and Voss. Rob studied the back of record jackets for hours, polishing his trivia skills, while I grooved, much to his embarrassment, to whatever was playing in the background. Then, we'd cap the night with a midnight run to House of Pies, where he'd try to dazzle me with his new repertoire of bass players and backup vocalists.
We were always late owls. Some nights we lay in bed until wee hours, playing our own form of Musical Jeopardy or Name that Tune, all the while laughing and robbing each other of much needed sleep.  "Just one more song," he'd say and I would give in.
In the later years of our marriage and with the onset of texting, we found ourselves a new love language. Rob would frequently send lyrics to express his affection or communicate whatever was on his mind. I soon began to deliver back my own, although, they were never as deep as his or as plenty.
 I might have texted the following much too many times.
They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will.
I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend...
(They did score me birthday tickets to the songwriter's concert, though... Mraz on a hot August night.)
Yes, sweet texts bridged the many miles when he was working far away and we sorely missed each other. Sometimes, they spoke deeper than the nightly phone call.
 There are still things we shared that I can't enjoy ...some restaurants and other places are taboo to date, but music keeps Rob's memory and our love alive. There are few Saturday nights that I don't turn on Austin City Limits or pull out an old vinyl, but I also try to broaden my playlist with new artists because...well, that's what's Rob would be doing.
Grief is a very individual thing; each of us must find a cord that keeps us connected to our loved one. For some it's travel or sports or a particular hobby; for me, it's music.

Today, I miss Rob insanely! I'd give anything to shoot him lyrics and wait for him to respond with the correct group or the next line.

To Rob from Robin
"We sat on a roof, named every star, shared every bruise and showed every scar. Hope has its proof, your hand in mine. Life has a beautiful, crazy design. Can there be breaks in the chaos sometimes? Oh, God must have heard when I prayed cause now I always want to feel this way."

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