A Broken Record


Revision of a Facebook Music Challenge:

From: 7 songs in 7 days — To: 7 feelings in 7 songs

No. 3 of 7: You Were Always There by Donna Fargo

This song was among a box of 45’s I was handed from a throw away pile as a teen. I had a portable record player. This might date me; although I never had one as old as Edison’s lovely decorative cylindrical gramophone phonographs, so I’m still a pup. If you do not remember 45’s, they are the smallest of the vinyl records and held the equivalent version of todays digital single hit release, only you received two songs, one on each side of the record… bonus! The flip side to the title listed above was the hit release: Funny Face, also by Donna Fargo; this one I was familiar with from the radio; the other was new to me back then and it can still bring on tear-filled emotion if heard at the right time and on the right day. One reason is because it speaks to opportunity lost, not only between mother and daughter, also for each of them individually. I won’t say there is nothing, which can make us sadder than feeling we’ve missed out on something great; but I would include it with the worst of frustrations.

In the tale of this song, the mother dies with her dreams unfulfilled and unexpressed. She never let them be known or hadn’t had the opportunity and time to share them with her daughter.  She dies before her daughter matures enough to express full gratitude for her mother’s investment to her parenting and misses out on sharing this grown up self with her mother which has her empathizing with her mother’s lost dreams.  She feels deep sorrow and regret, it is now too late to know and share her mother’s hopes and aspirations.

I comprehend the agony of missing out, and missing out on someone you love and care about feels like an enormous misfortune. Recognizing another did, or may feel they have missed out or under-achieved, especially due to caring for their child or children also seems a horrible shame for parent and child in addition to being a worthless struggle in guilt which many grapple with.

Everyone is born having no say as to the circumstance of their birth; yet how we are raised, treated and taught impacts what we achieve or do not achieve, in addition to what is afforded us monetarily either aiding or stifling us. If we have the fortune of being born to nurturing parents, we have something to be grateful for, regardless of the monetary wealth we had or lacked; however and undeniably, resources great or small play a large part in our development. If not firsthand, then through the vast amount of available information and media sources, we witness how impoverished or oppressed people can be and how they continue to survive under those circumstances, not necessarily thrive; never the less, they could possibly still have the same life span as someone with the maximum in so far as, a luxurious life as a wealthy US or any other countries wealthy citizen would allow. I am far from wealthy according to the US standard today; however, if I were to compare my standard of living to that of the poor in nearly any country, including the US, I’d say I live in opulence; yet was as a child and am still inhibited and have been heavily impacted by a lack of certain resources, not all them as tangible as a minimal amount of financial coffers. Most of the world’s people do not live as well as we do in the USA; but all are born similarly, i.e., into a particular set of circumstances not of their making and the impact of which, makes them.

This song implies the mother faithfully mothered, forsaking her own dreams, if she had any beyond basic comfort, to be a dutiful mom while the daughter is busy growing up and realizes too late how her mother has always been there for her. Now, she cannot relay to her mother the things she has learned or longs for   her own dreams; nor can she engage with her mother on this more mature level about life because the obligations of growing up and moving away left a gap between them. I can relate to this, mostly in the sense of having a mother whom has not confided in me regarding much, if not most of her life other than what I witness while being mothered. We all live a private life, at least a portion of it. I could only speculate as to the reasons for her silence. It may be because upon having children and being charged with the task of motherhood changed her direction filling her with new hopes and new dreams revolving around an added burden (in this case, four bundles of burden and joy) to her odyssey in the quest for survival.  Some of her withholding may be attributed to the era she grew up in, as most of those born to her age group were taught to keep things to themselves, which is understandable. A part of me whispers… I may have shared too much with her; she may not want to see me as I am; but may wish to remember me the way she thought I was, or might grow up to be (There’s still time… still growing.).  It’s easier to forgive when we are dazzled by mystery than to be confronted with lost hope. This is not to say I feel I am a disappointment to her; however I do not think she would have asked for the adult me she got, or at least she might say, she got what she wanted until I reached a certain age, changed direction and headed away from what was expected   she was an expectant mother! I am reminded of humorist Erma Bombecks reply when someone asked her if she was a good mother.  In this particular interview, she stated, she didn’t think of it as good or bad; but she showed up. That’s how I think of my mother; she showed up. In one of Erma’s columns about her mothering style in regards to each of her three children, she wrote, she was three different people.   I think this was well put. My mother also, is a different person to each of her children and vice versa; we each see her differently and have a different relationship with her. This is not restricted to parents and their children; rather is applicable to all who show up in our lives, all who leave and when they go, none of whom, can we summon or choose to be anyone other than who they are.

All established relationships differ from one another. The way we interact shapes us; creates emotional barriers, can open us up emotionally or both and can make us emotionally vulnerable by setting the precedent   initiating a pattern of emotional prompts and responses; therefore establishing the relationship. How or if the relationship grows and how much, or if it ends, depends directly on the type of interaction and what it promotes in its communicative style, either an open or closed dialogue, which, affects our emotional state.  Whether there is disclosure or things are kept hidden affects the closeness and forward movement of the relationship   the confidence shared.  For most of us, first tendencies are to avoid conflict; however since people are dissimilar, conflict is generally unavoidable, arising at some point and if you live together, one of you must compromise by giving in more on one issue or another to keep an amenable association. When you don’t live together, it’s much easier to get along while being dissimilar, providing there is not un-constructiveness surrounding the point of difference; if there is, most likely, further distance will grow; because it’s no fun being around someone you perceive to affect you negatively, stifles your growth and doesn’t build you up, or whom you think, makes you feel bad    smothers you; putting out your fire instead of lighting you up. When positivity or constructive feelings are not present or are blocked; it’s necessary to examine what transpired to prompt these feelings; why you might not look forward to seeing someone.  Looking into what specifically is bothersome about interacting with a person to find the source of the emotional disturbance is usually a matter of learning about and managing a sensitive issue in oneself rather than blaming another for disappointment and also makes it easier to pinpoint and confront another’s behavior etc., which, could be the bulk of the problem. Of course when all involved aren’t willing to be openly honest about (just means they are withholding, which is a form of manipulation), or do not fully understand what’s really going on underneath what is openly shared and is bringing out the upsetting emotive responses, separation can be a welcomed solution; however I hope it is a last resort since it may not resolve an issue, but may only temporarily remove one of the triggers for an unresolved pattern within ourselves; something we’ve learned to avoid confronting in order to cope with expectations not being met in some way, or something we feel we may have missed out on, or are unable to face the idea, not that we missed out, but that we didn’t have the opportunity to decide for ourselves what we have or do not have   what we got or didn’t get… maybe we feel robbed of opportunity by a circumstance, the laws of physics or other binding obligatory requirement.

Born with human frailties and subjugated to the circumstance we showed up in, things transpire as we grow, showing up as we go along. We are bound to do life and often live with regret and guilt over what was done or not done; but we have done it or not, that is that   we showed up, that’s all. We do life dutifully just as Mom does motherhood.  It was handed her and bound her to duty. Though we may have an inner conflict over how we feel about our lives… what we’ve showed up as, if we have shown too much, haven’t shown enough or not shared at all, or what life showed us, or what it didn’t   what we’ve missed is not a real fight. There is no conflict in could or should have done this or that; there is only what is done and the aftermath of feelings and the consequence it brings. There is no such thing as too late; we show up just in time to do what we do when we do it.

Whether we like it or not, we feel one way or another and in general want to feel better. The fact we don’t feel better stems from our inner argument showing us what we don’t want but not revealing to us how to heal ourselves or resolve our plight. What we are shown when our mind plays or records our emotionally driven battle is, we can’t ignore our predicament or heal ourselves from ourselves, whom is, our enemy held close, revealing how we are predisposed   how our life triggers death (goes to waste), and how death, therefore is pre-determined because the consequence of this life is losing it; showing us how ultimately, we are no match for our predisposition and have no offsetting strategy for coming into or coming out of decay. No matter how much or how often we are beleaguered by this record of our protesting, the long-standing contest in our minds turns our distress to hope. Even for those not hoping in God; having not been shown who to put their confidence and hope in, even for those people, hope is the answer received from any battle cry   we all hope for the best perceived outcome in each dilemma we face.

Throughout life we are shown how we are charged with battling life’s upsets against our most private aspirations and hopes.  If we pay attention we can also note, we are shown, regardless of how we are charged up, we are not in charge; rather we are continually frustrated by wanting to take charge before it’s too late   before we’ve missed the boat. We don’t want to die with unfulfilled dreams. We see that as missing out. All of us were born, having showed up unexpectedly, i.e., not knowing what to expect and began expecting much from little    having high hopes with little knowledge as a basis to go on; simply, showing up and listening to the record in our heads, which is played back to us again and again while processing our perceptions; topping the charts as it becomes a newly modified version of the same old song and dance, like listening to a broken record where the new releases mingle with our unhealed emotional wounds from having played and having been played, which, show up and repeat over and over like the scratches on an album. This private record remains number one on our charts as a new hit single with a flip side next up and there can be only an audience of one to it’s full first showing   only we are invited to the exclusive sneak preview. It is impossible for all of us to share all of what we see in all of our relationships because not all things are relatable to all of our relations, whether family, friend or foe. If this were not so and the darkest corners and crevices of our being had a grand opening, exposing all of us entirely, bringing our depths to light, we’d learn much more and much more quickly about who is always there and from him, all that is created is what we share in full.



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