The good thing about the dead people you love is: that they don’t stay dead. They come back in so many ways to flood us with their preseMy 65 year old son Chip, dead now for 10 months, comes back to me in the yellow rose bush which he gave me for Valentine’s day several years ago, and is now planted in my garden, Its petals bursting brilliantly, and then drooping in a cycle of regularity.
And surely, that’s not all.
His Grateful Dead music which I pretty much disdained during his lifetime has worked its way into my psyche like water dripping from a faucet. I hear it from a new perspective and understand it now on a different level. And everybody who knew Chip, knew that his soul beat to the sounds of “The Dead.”
Last weekend, my Grandkids, who adored their quirky Uncle Chip, came to visit me in Florida. How does a Grandma in her mid-nineties “entertain” mid- 20 year olds after they’ve “done” the beach?
“Grandma, is there any live music around here?” they pleaded. Covid-deprived as we all have been, they longed to turn their ears onto “the real stuff.”
And so we “googled” and “googled” – and there it was ! OMG! Just a spit away from us, playing just one night – What? What? The gods had descended – imported all the way from Delray Beach (our nearest neighbor) a “Grateful Dead” tribute band doing a one night stand, about to “bop” onto the stage for a full 8pm to midnite rendition of a good portion of familiar “Dead” repertoire.
And there we landed on Saturday Night – the three of us – plus Uncle Chip, at “Crazy Uncle Mike’s” place, plus my Deadhead friend Mara who joined us from around the corner where she lives.
Nobody can listen to “The Dead” without jumping out of a seat and moving a series of body parts to the rhythm of the music.
The inexplicable “reason” for this happening hung gently on our shoulders as we sang the familiar lyrics and danced teary-eyed to the glory of “The Dead.”