Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Music Box

Several years ago,  there was a popular song, In the Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics. I really liked that song. The other day I had flashback to lines in this song:

...I wasn't there that morning
When my father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo 
In my babies new born tears
I  just wish I had told him in the living years...

One of my favorite pass times is going to yard sales. Our church has a huge one to benefit missions several times a year. Last weekend, I took a deep breath, strapped Abbey and Elijah into the double stroller and set out for the yard sale. We ended up shopping for over 2 hours. The kids behaved wonderfully. Maybe it was the bribe, umm, I mean, incentive, that I gave the kids. I told them that if they behaved well, I'd get them a couple of toys.

I picked up a music box for Abbey. It caught my eye, because it had Cinderella on the sides. It played, "A Dream is a Wish". I showed it to Abbey and she latched onto it immediately. During our browsing, I saw several other things I would suggest that we buy. But, no! She would not trade anything for that music box. All day long, when we got home, she carried it around, playing it over and over.

I never would have thought that a music box would thrill her so. I turned to her and said, "You are just like your Great Grandmother. She loved music boxes."  I was seeing my Grandmother, Brandon, as I called her, in Abbey.  My grandmother collected music boxes.(Beth used to try to count all of them. I don't remember how many there were, but it was a lot.  John, Jr., in typical little boy fashion would try to wind and start them all playing at once. The lines quoted above from the song echoed in my mind.

My Brandon was the best! She was one person that was always on my side. She moved into our house when I was twelve, and I was very close to her. She would let me turn the tv in her room to whatever I wanted, just as long as I'd stay and visit with her. She would listen to "my" music and not flinch. She'd even start to clap and jive away to the pop sounds. She gave me many lessons on life. She crocheted constantly. I can still see her there in her chair, making some knitted project.  When I was young and visited her, she would always have a present for me. Many times I think of her and am so disappointed that she didn't get to meet Abbey and Elijah.

 My Grandmother at my wedding

The song replayed in my mind and stirred my heart.  But, one thing is different. I did get to tell her how much I loved her in the living years. About 12 years ago, we knew that Brandon was dying from leukemia, so  I wrote her a letter telling her how wonderful she was and how much she meant to me.  During this time, she encouraged all of us to pick out the music boxes that we wanted.

I remembered all these details when I began telling Abbey about my grandmother. I showed her the music boxes that I have that were Brandon's.

All of these thoughts were brought about by Abbey's obsession with a music box. It turned into a neat time of reminiscing and telling Abbey about her great grandmother.  It gave Abbey a connection to her past, to her family. It doesn't matter that there isn't an ounce of shared genetics, she is Brandon's great-granddaughter. And her love of music boxes proves it!!



  1. Oh the sweet connections God gives our children...
    I got teary eyed as I read this post!

  2. Your Brandon sounded very special! I'm sure Abbey loved hearing how she and Brandon were so much alike in their love of music boxes. They were knitted together before the beginning of time.