Goodbye yellow brick road

by davebarclay1954

It’s a little funny (peculiar) how hearing one song can lead us to remember a place, time, person or event and that memory can bring joy or sadness. I was listening to my phone playlist, on shuffle, so I didn’t know what was coming next when Cilla Black came on, reminding me of my mam in happy times and sad. Thinking of my mam is nothing new as I remember, and miss, her terribly every day.

My mam was born, and raised, in Newcastle on Tyne, met my dad when he was doing his National Service with her brother in Hong Kong and Singapore. I was always close to mam and, in the late 70’s when I moved back to Scotland, I tried to see my mam at least once a week. Her death plagued me for a long time, because I was calling in to see her every Wednesday afternoon on my way home from College. The week she died I went over on the Tuesday morning, told her I was travelling to Basingstoke to pick up my daughter for the summer holidays and would be over to see her, with Sara, either Saturday or Sunday. I never saw her alive again. She died on the Wednesday of a massive heart attack.

When my latest mother-in-law was ill, I was reminded of all of this, the day before she passed I was at her bedside then more people arrived so I kissed her forehead and said that I was going but I’d call round the following day to spend some more time with her. The next morning, November 20th, my phone rang at 6a.m. and I knew she’d gone before I answered it.

All of this memory triggered by a Paul McCartney song, sung by Cilla, called Step Inside, Love. The mind is a strange thing though, isn’t it? We never really forget anything, and there can be so many different triggers for memories to suddenly burst out. Sights, sounds (including music but other sounds as well) smells, (bacon sizzling in a pan reminds me of Sunday morning breakfast, Kouros after shave reminds me of Paris) and even old photographs of places visited all act as triggers for memories, once they start it’s hard to stop them from taking you off on a Magical Mystery Tour of an Amazing Journey.

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