Sleep Now The Untroubled Sleep of the Angels

I am aware that I am late for this Tom Petty tribute post, but it is not unintentional. Death is a difficult topic to discuss right now. On a national level, the tragedy in Las Vegas serves a grim reminder that something is seriously wrong with this country I call home. On a personal level, my mother told me that the aunt who was like a second mother to my siblings and I growing up is losing her battle with cancer. So, it is a lot right now, but I will try to share my fondest memory of Tom Petty.

When I was young, I used to find my mother’s taste in music to be strange at times. I grew up in Brooklyn, so it was cool to listen to hip and R&B and pop and little else. My mother, on the other hand, listened to anything that made her happy. I guess I can credit my love of music to her when I think about it. Those music clubs that sent you all the CDs you wanted for a monthly charge had something to do with that too. Some of ya’ll are too young to remember that (LOL) but my mother introduced us to A LOT of different music because of those clubs.

One day I was watching MTV with my sisters and, as usual, we changed the channel the moment anything that wasn’t “good music” came on. Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels” came on, and since it wasn’t our taste we considered it bad and tried to change the channel. That’s when my mom told us to stop. Apparently, she loved the song, and because of that we had no choice but to listen and stare at her sideways while she singed along. It is seriously one of my favorite childhood memories because it dawned on me for the first time that music can reveal so much about a person to you. To me, that song gave my mother some comfort as a single mother of four children who felt no one understood the things she endured.

Anyway, it changed the way I viewed music forever. I came to love “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, and I came to love his other songs as I grew older, too. I loved “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”. I loved “Free Fallin”. I loved “I Won’t Back Down”. Most of all, I loved “Don’t Come Around Here No More”. That take on Alice in Wonderland in the music video was just the coolest thing to me in my youth, and it remains one of my favorite music videos to this date. Tom Petty really served as my bridge into not only rock music, but all the other genres of music that I used to skip on MTV or the radio. It’s a story that I tell Mark every time we hear a Tom Petty song. I’m sure he’s tired of it at this point. LOL…

… It really hurts to lose a part of my childhood like this. The last celebrity death that made me cry was Robin Williams, so I am not someone who suffers immense heartbreak each time a celebrity dies. I feel sympathy for their loved ones, but I do not pretend to be overwrought with grief. This loss was just too personal, though. As Robin Williams cheered me up during my childhood, Tom Petty opened my eyes to different music, and I cannot imagine how much pain his family must feel after losing such an incredible person. I am just a lowly fan telling a stupid story. They are the ones suffering the most right now, so I offer them absolute sympathy.

Rest in peace, Tom Petty. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.

To the people who were enjoying the magic that is music when some terrorist sensely murdered them, please rest in peace.

To my aunt… she is not lost yet, but if there is a heaven she deserves to be there, laughing her funny laugh with the angels.

I think this all that I have the heart to express right now. If I keep going on like this, I’m just going to end up crying and typing like an idiot, and I’ve been enough of an idiot for one lifetime. LOL…

Anyway, please take care everyone. We cannot control how we leave this world, but let’s all strive to be so incredibly generous and kind that we inspire others to be better.  Good vibrations and keep fighting, as always.

 

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