Children's children are a crown to the aged And parents are the pride of their children. The glory of young men is their strength, Gray hair the splendor of the old. Gray hair is a crown of splendor; It is attained by a righteous life.
written by her son, my precious grandson, in her memory.
She took him home from the hospital at four days
old, and he has been a joy in our lives since.
Matthew Willard Engl. 1010K Professor Ford February 4, 2010
“When I Get Where I’m Going”
Songs in ones life have an impact that influences them in one-way or another. The way these songs make an impact vary in numerous ways such as, a child hood memory, a time and place or special person in their life. Many songs have a great capability to bring all these emotions back to someone and may cause happiness, tears, or maybe just the recollection of another place and time.
The duet by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, “When I Get Where I’m Going” was a song that I had heard many times on the radio. This song always found a way to hit my heart and stir emotions that I never felt before. It wasn’t until the passing of my mother that this song found an apparent stronghold on my soul and brought into my life, a new way that I perceive the passing of a loved one. When we lose someone who means the world to us, we frequently find ways we can remember them in our daily lives by our surroundings such as pictures, trinkets, and in this case, a song.
Many country songs nowadays often talk about similar situations that lead to the same point. In this case, a picture is depicted in our minds of what the end will look like once we are reunited with the ones we’ve lost and so dearly miss. Whenever I here this song now, I automatically think of my mother and how she left this world long before it was her time. Once the melody hits my ears, I know what thoughts will soon develop and replay over in my head.
Thinking back to the last time I saw my mother in the airport terminal as we said our goodbyes before I left to serve in the military overseas is the first memory to play out. With eyes overflowing with tears of a mournful goodbye, I did my best to drown out the loud and discerning babble of the overly crowded terminal. With my time to leave finally upon me, I found myself looking to where I once stood so close to my mother and father as I made my way to my departure gate through the midst of scurrying soon to be passengers. Once my parents were out of my line of sight, the last memory I have of my mother weeping because of her son leaving, always hits me the hardest. I was leaving for a three-year tour in England, but would seem like an eternity, which a few months later became reality. At the time of my absence I came to know what my mother had already known, that it was time for me to get where I was going in life, and her tears were those of a proud mother who’s tear soaked face would be my last visual encounter of her.
October 31st, 2002, was an event that has not yet to this day, become easier to cope with. “When I Get Where I’m Going” had not yet been released by this date. In 2005, Brad released his album, “Time Well Wasted”, which included this memorable song, that from time to time, finds its way into my ears and reminds me that just because I have been parted from my beloved mother, we shall be reunited in a place that God has set for us. Then those dreadful memories will be nothing but.
In the opening lyrics, the song’s title words are the first to be sung. The words portrayed in the chorus are so eloquently put together and heart felt, that they would touch anyone who hears it.
The chorus is as follows;
“Yeah, when I get where I’m going, I’ll cry only happy tears, I will share the sins and struggles I have carried all these years, and I’ll keep my heart wide open, I will love and have no fear, yeah when I get where I’m going, don’t cry for me down here.”
These words that I have heard time and time again shows me that we need not cry tears of sadness when a loved one has left us. Instead, live life headstrong, full of love and when the time comes for us to leave this world, the reunion with our nearest and dearest will be like nothing we have ever contemplated. Brad sings of the pain and darkness that this world beholds for us as our lives travel through it. This world, without our loved ones, can contain a greater deal of darkness and sometimes feel impossible to navigate.
It may feel difficult, and every now and again, hopeless to try to deal with the loss of a loved one. We need not let this tragedy hold us back from what they would have us do. The lyrics “don’t cry for me down here.” let us know that their passing is to come it is that of a better place. This song contains different analogies that can help one who hears it be aware that their loved ones passing is not the end. Many times throughout the year, there are a multitude of occasions when my mothers passing is more difficult to deal with than other days. Mothers Day, her birthday, and even Christmas are holidays, which just don’t have the same meaning without her presence. Of course these days were not meant only for me, but without her here, they will never be the same, and some are not celebrated the same without her.
This song is not heard but maybe a couple of times a month, and when it does play on the radio, I think back to the wonderful woman who I knew loved me so much to give me a life I would have never known had she and my father not adopted me. The fact that my mother was able to give me the life I wouldn’t have had otherwise, is such a major reason, but not the only, I miss her so deeply. I now relate this song to her memory in a way that I know would suit it best. She would not have me morn, but rather keep that beloved memory alive with the life she lived and all the lives she touched.
This song by Brad Paisley, since it’s release, has made an impact on my life that will remain with me forever. The detail of the lyrics is just enough to paint a picture in my mind of the better place where I know my mother now resides. Those of us that believe in that better place realize that even though we have lost, we shall regain, and the tears of sadness once shed, will be wiped away forever! I can’t say that this song is my all time favorite song, but the meaning it has to me is one of someone who was and still is one of my favorite people, which cannot be replaced by anything that this world has to offer. No song can ever replace the feelings that my mother has given me, but “When I Get Where I’m Going”, always helps to remind me that the day will come when we shall be reunited forever.
I believe that everyone, regardless of what genre of music they enjoy, should hear this song at least once. They then may realize that many songs in country music can be attributed to real life and how it can be related to some part of their lives whether it is a loss, a gain, or just a memory that maybe had been completely forgotten about.
To all who come to face the loss of someone special, the remembrance of their life and the better place they are, is what should be embraced everyday.