Music is memory. When I hear specific songs, I’m brought back to a specific moment or place in time. My Grandma Audrey, who died 10 years ago, loved to sing. With the most beautiful voice, she had a song for every occasion. Sitting on the pier with her, blowing bubbles, she would sing, “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air,” the classic song by Doris Day. When my grandpa would toss pennies at us while playing in the sand—to buy tasty ice cream down the street of course—Grandma would sing, “Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.” Even her kitchen had Wisconsin Public Radio’s classical channel on all the time. Whenever I hear classic music, I’m transported to sitting at the kitchen table with Grandma, looking out the row of windows, reflecting on the lake water that their property was on. Music is memory and can bring us back to countless moments in time.
A hymn my grandma loved and adored was “In the Garden.” At church hymn sings and family gatherings which always included music as we are all very musical—Grandma always requested this beloved hymn.
I come to the garden a lone while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my
ear, the Son of God discloses. And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his
own; and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
My grandma referred to this hymn as “Andy’s Song.” “Andy” walked with me. “Andy” talked with me. I think there were many reasons my grandma loved this “Andy’s Song.” My grandma loved nature. She spent countless days sitting on the pier or on the back porch, basking in the sun and enjoying the sounds of nature. Grandma was consistently connected to nature, and I believe it was where she experienced God. After being diagnosed with macular degeneration, my grandma went blind. I believe that this song in particular was one of comfort for grandma. No matter what she went through, God was with her, journeying with her, talking with her, and always telling her that she was one of God’s children. It was comforting for Grandma, and it remains a comforting and hope filled song for me. Whenever I hear it, I’m brought back to sitting on the pier or on the back porch, with my grandma, sitting in silence together. I know God was there!
Peace, Pastor Kristina