Monday, December 3, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 28 - Dancing Queen

As some of you may know by now, my gram passed away Saturday morning, Dec. 1st at 11:30 am with her daughter and her granddaughter at her side. Thank you from the depths of my heart for all your prayers, because I know it helped to ease Gram's final week of life. And I know it gave comfort to me and my family as we waited with Gram for her to embark on her journey to the other side.

As some of you may also know, I've always had an open communication from family members who are no longer with us. I get messages constantly from the other side - all saying the same thing. They are fine, don't worry, don't be sad. They are aware of us here on this side and it's only a veil which separates us - they are as close to us as a thought, and it will be but a blink of an eye until we're together again.

Often my messages will be something simple, like what song is playing on the radio when I turn on the car. When my dad was in the hospital for his final week of life, 'I'm Coming Home' by Johnny Mathis played when I got in the car, several times.

'I'm goin' home, goin' home
Tell someone to meet me I'm comin' home'

Recently when I got in the car when Gram first went to emergency, I turned on the radio and heard Pete Seeger singing this:

'To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep'

So, bearing that in mind, about half an hour after Gram passed, while we were waiting for my uncle, my sister and her boyfriend to join us in Gram's room, I told Mom I would get us some coffee at Tim Horton's, plus a small bite to eat because we needed something. I got in the car, turned on the radio and heard Janis Ian's 'At Seventeen'. Hmm, I thought, nothing yet. Still early, only the first hour.

I got two coffees and two yogurts, which were jammed firmly into the little cardboard tray. I went back to the car, opened the door to get in, and something promptly knocked one of the coffees right out of the tray where it was very firmly gripped. It landed on the asphalt in its lid, upside down. I picked it up and nothing leaked out. And it was Mom's coffee - I could tell by the marks on the lid (2 M 1 C.)

I got in the car, already smiling because I knew someone had knocked the coffee out of the tray on purpose. And I realized right away what the message was. Things feel topsy turvy but nothing is lost. Yes, I was smiling as I turned on the car to go back to the hospital. Turned on the radio to hear ABBA's 'Dancing Queen', to which I started singing along. Then I got to the line:

'You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen'

I realized that the first song really was a part of the message, because it made me hear the word 'seventeen' very clearly. Gram was trying to tell me that she felt like she was seventeen again. She always loved dancing, was a huge fan of 'Dancing With The Stars', used to ask me 'Does Brad like to dance?' And when I said not really, she'd always say, 'Ah, that's a shame. I always loved it!' She used to urge Mom to go to dances, too. My gram was truly a dancing queen. And I also remembered that Gram was married on the 17th of August.

So, in honor of my grandmother Juliette Doucet, I'm posting the lyrics to 'Dancing Queen' for today's Poetry Monday.

Dancing Queen

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, diggin the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine oh yeah
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo see that girl, watch that scene, diggin the Dancing Queen

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on
Leave 'em burning and then you're gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine oh yaaa
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, diggin the Dancing Queen

Diggin the Dancing Queen

-by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, recorded in 1975

Painting - 'Ballroom Dancing' by John LaGatta


Jill said...

You are a strong woman, Julia! Finding way to smile through that!
When I saw that there was no TT on Friday, I wonder if something happen to your Grams.
And now, you will remember her each time you dance...And it is reconforting to know she is somewhere that feels good!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, condolences, darling!! But you're smiling and Gram's in a better place. Hopefully keeping an eye on Trevor and the gang, too.

(is it okay for me to admit I really love this song? Me, your resident tough girl metal head!)

Hugs from all of us and yes, that's Trevor's hand on your ass. He'd like to make sure Brad knows, the troublemaker...

SansPantaloons said...

My condolences Julia. I'm glad you were with Gram when she passed.

julia said...

How tall is Trevor? Brad's kinda big...

Sniz said...

I'm soo sorry about your Gram, but so thankful you were able to be with her at the end. I'm somewhat new to your blog, so wasn't blessed enough to "know" her through your posts like some of your other readers, but please know my thoughts and prayers are with you!

Ann said...

You have my condolences. If you ever need someone to talk to, you can come hang at my blog (I'll even make hot chocolate).

Hoyeya said...

I'm sure your Gram would appreciate your offering this week. She sounds like a wonderful woman. Of course, I have ABBA's greatest hits sitting between Metallica and Dean Martin. Makes for an interesting collection. ;)

Incurable Disease of Writing

gautami tripathy said...

Hugs for you! This is great tribute for grams!


Kailana said...

I am very sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful post in honour of her!

Mike M said...

You've been tagged!!!

Heather said...

Surfing in via Miss Sniz...

I, too, have a friend who talks to me through music. Isn't it a wonderful gift? I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you received comfort so quickly.

I'll be back to catch up on your blog, if only because you live in Halifax and anybody who lives near where Anne lived is okay by me.

Karina said...

Oh Julia, I'm so sorry for your loss. I figured when you were "gone" most of last week something must have happened. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers. But wow, what a wonderful thing to get such a clear message that she is definitely in a better place and "Having the time of her life" now.

And of course now I'll be singing this song all day. ;-)

Annie Mac said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Gram. My thoughts are with you and your family.

I don't get messages from the other side (or maybe I'm just not listening for them?) but I believe that our loved ones are in a better place.

Amy Ruttan said...

Aw sweetie big hugs to you! What a wonderful tribute to your gram.

I'm sending you big hugs from Ontario and I'll think of your Gram every time I hear Dancing Queen. It's Gram's song from now on. (((hugs)))

Akelamalu said...

It's wonderful that you got a message from your Gram so soon. You will miss her physical presence but you know she's always there with you. Big hugs and oodles of Reiki winging there way to you as I type. xxx

Samantha Lucas said...

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. :)

julia said...

Thank you everyone, from the deepest part of me.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Gram, Julia. Big hugs to you -- Grams are such special people. Mine passed away going on three years ago at the incredible age of 100.

I know you will miss your Gram-- cherish those precious memories. What a lovely tribute you have written to her.

Rhian said...

Condolences dear! We're all thinking about you.

Miss Frou Frou said...

Julia, my deepest condolences... In the weeks after my father died I would turn the radio and a song would remind me of him... I often found myself singing along, and having a quiet weep... it was as if the music gave me permission to grieve...

Lovely that Dancing Queen will be one of the songs that reminds you of your Gram.

Jenny McB said...

I thought of you today and thought, that you hadn't been around. I am sorry to hear of your Gram, this was a good post and I liked how you made the connections.

I think to think that we are always in contact and based on a family member who was dying, I now believe that family waits for us. Peace.

Jenny McB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kelly Boyce said...

I love how quickly you are able to pick up the messages. I thought your Gram was such a sweet lady and I think Dancing Queen suits perfectly given how much she loved dancing and music.

Joy Renee said...

so sorry for your loss. and so sorry I wasn't around at the time to say so. this was the week I was visiting my Mom and had limited Internet access and more limited time.

your Gram sounds like a great lady with a bright and lively spirit.