Friday, April 27, 2018

Tale of Two Songs

I know there is science that suggests smell is the most powerful of the senses. Others suggest touch, noting that humans need to touch and be touched. Virginia Satir writes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” I don’t know if any human gets his or her daily quota. Ever. Maybe that’s why I’m shrinking. And I thought it was just because I’m getting older.

I remember teaching psychology many moons ago and my classes were fascinated by an experiment with baby monkeys. I found it to be unusually cruel and so did my classes. The experiment was to separate two groups of monkeys: one group of baby monkeys was allowed to remain in the care of momma monkey. The other group was put in a cage by itself with only a terry cloth monkey for comfort. Scientists discovered that the monkeys “raised” by the terry cloth monkey didn’t develop or bond. Duh!

I think Helen Keller might argue that sight is powerful. To witness the beauty, the color, the expression on faces associated with the words they speak. Yet she lived and functioned in a darkened world and became a noted spokesperson and advocate for the blind population. Others might argue that the sense of hearing is the most important. While my hearing is slowing going, with the benefit of hearing aids, I’m able to function pretty well.  

Speaking of the sense of hearing . . .

Isn’t it funny how, sometimes, you hear a melody or a lyric and are transported back in time to a specific place surrounded by specific people? To this day, I hear I Want To Hold Your Hand (the Beatles, in case you were wondering) and I’m back in sixth grade on the playground at Holy Angels Grade School arguing who was the best in the group. Or I hear Gimme Some Lovin (Spencer Davis Group featuring Steve Winwood on vocals and keyboards) and I’m in middle school front of the stage singing in our rock back.

I have music on while I’m driving and this morning on my way to school, it happened again. Two songs in a row.

The first song was I Loved Her First (Heartland, I think it might have been their only hit). I hear this song and it brings tears to my eyes. This is Hannah’s and my song. This is the song Hannah has chosen for the father-daughter dance at her wedding. The chorus is:

            But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first

I mean, dang! That’s me when I look at Hannah. That will be me at her wedding. And before the wedding, that’s going to be me when I help pack her up and move her to Pittsburgh. Can’t help it. She’s my Peanut. Always has been and always will be.

The second song is My Wish (Rascal Flatts). I sang this song for the 2012 commencement- Hannah’s grad class. I knew those kids so well. The problem was that Hannah introduced me to the kids and parents and I ended up with a lump in my throat the size of Mt. Rushmore. I don’t think I hit the right note until . . . well, maybe I never did.

The lyrics express, I think, what every dad or parent wants for their kids at any age, at any time.

            But more than anything, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish.

See what I mean? It’s any parent’s wish for their children.

I would also argue that it’s any teacher’s . . . any good teacher’s . . . wish for students entrusted to them by parents. Perhaps, it’s any adult coach, doctor, nurse, custodian, bus driver, any adult worth their salt and breath for children of all ages, any age. Any kid. Every kid. Yes. We can only hope, right? Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

My new book, Caught in a Web launched yesterday, on Thursday, April 26. It is now available online on Amazon at  but you can also order it from Black Rose Writing at

If you want to know what others have thought of the book so far, you can watch this one minute video at:  You will notice some very nice reviews.

For those of you in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, I am doing three Caught in a Web book sale and signing events. You can find me at:
April 28 Porter Library in Stafford from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
May 5 England Run Library in Stafford/Fredericksburg from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
May 12 Salem Church Library in Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Feel free to connect with me on Social Media:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Amazon at: /

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe