I lost my mother over the weekend. That’s definitely not a sentence I ever wanted to write. It’s killing me to know that I am and the situation is very real. My heart is broken.
Over the course of the next few days, I’m certain I’ll reflect on many things about my mom. I loved her like no other. She was my rock and, in her final years, I was hers. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. That’s because I knew there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for me. My mom, Lillian, was my biggest cheerleader.
“The Farr Side” is usually reserved for all things pop culture. But the more I think of her now that she’s gone, my mom was pop culture. We shared a good many things over the years, including our love for music, television and the arts. I got my love of music from her, having grown up listening to her Elvis records.
She always wanted to be a dancer, she would say. That only made me love her more. Bless her heart.
Growing up, she saw my love for music only get bigger. I liked it all. I can’t tell you how many records I brought home from garage sales, excited to play them for her. After all, she bought me my first record-player for Christmas when I was 5-years-old. It was great, until I wore down the needle.
For Christmas when I was in fourth grade, she got me my first jam box and cassette tape, Air Supply’s “Greatest Hits.” I loved their music, and so did she.
My second cassette was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” That changed everything for me. I loved, loved, loved the album. Michael Jackson was the coolest guy on the planet. I wanted to be like him so bad. I must have played that tape a gazillion times. It was that cool to me.
The following year, I got the red-zippered Michael Jackson coat from his “Beat It” video as a Christmas gift. That coat, with my black parachute pants was da bomb!
As the years passed, my music collection grew with me evolving into a massive CD collection. She never complained. In fact, she often wanted to borrow them to play. I loved that about her.
When I became ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 1994, music took on an entirely new meaning. My mom understood its healing power for me and never wavered when I sang along. (Loudly, I might add, and probably way off key, too).
As I got stronger and things for me improved, I lived up to my promise of taking her to see some of the singers that had “saved” us during those dreaded times.
We shared so many memorable concert moments. How many people can say they took their mom to see Aerosmith or Def Leppard? Or what about Stevie Nicks, Sting, Tina Turner, Blake Shelton, Elton John, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Michael Buble, Juice Newton, Vince Gill, Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Van Shelton, Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Travis Tritt, Wynonna, Amy Grant or Phil Collins? This guy can! She was also able to tell her friends how we saw Cher perform live three times.
The most treasured concert we attended together was that of Simon & Garfunkel. We both were incredibly moved by their songs.
I loved that I could share that with her.
Sometimes, we were fortunate enough to meet a few of these stars.
My favorite encounter was with Randy Travis. He was running late and his tour manager was about to cut short his meet-and-greet. I was on crutches and not sure of making it down a narrow staircase to where he was. It didn’t stop my mom. Away she went down the stairs, yelling, “I’m with the press.”
Randy allowed her in. I couldn’t hear what she told him, but I could hear the laughter echoing up the staircase. My mom had said, “Who the hell is George Strait when you have Randy Travis standing right in front of you?” Needless to say, Randy came up the steps to greet me. I’ll never forget the grin my mom wore for days after.
My love for music will no doubt play a major role in healing from the loss of my mom. Some songs surely will have new meaning for me, yet another piece of her to hold close to my heart. I love you, Mom ... give my love to MJ.
— David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can find The Farr Side on Facebook.