24 October 2009


Today's Take This Tune prompt is "Gravedigger". Now this isn't specifically a "spooky" song in that it is only a request that he be buried in a shallow grave so that he can feel the rain. When it comes to those who pass on, some simply leave. Others hang in there for a period of time. In my family, they have been known to call out, warn, and depart. No long visitations, just bye bye and gone.

My mother was one of the most persistent, but that is often the way of those who die by violence. She knocked on her mother's door to visibly say farewell. She visited and appeared to a sister to inform her that she would be the next in the family to depart. She walked a hallway nightly to stop by my door until I married, and then she sang a song to her first grandchild, and then played with him for the first year of his life.  For Chris there was always something in the corner no one else could see that was amazingly entertaining.

I've written that mama could sing. Unfortunately, I got my father's vocal chords, so when I held Christopher for his first lullabye, I didn't expect much ... It wasn't my voice. Believe me or don't believe me, I don't care, but I opened my mouth and sang. My aunt from the other room ran in with a shocked expression and listened. We both knew I wasn't singing. Mama sang to her grandson using my mouth. I know the song. To this day, I can croak it, but that day mama was buried in a very shallow grave .......
Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and vale in slumber steeping,
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night.

While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
O'er thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling
All through the night.

In an alternate version, the second verse is substituted with:

Angels watching ever round thee
All through the night
In thy slumbers close surround thee
All through the night
They will of all fears disarm thee,
No forebodings should alarm thee,
They will let no peril harm thee
All through the night.


Fairweather said...

Beautiful stories, Jamie. Your mother must have been a very protective and loving person in life. Thank you for sharing these memories.

Linda said...

I have no doubt that when people depart from our lives that sometimes they don't go very far. Sounds like your mother wanted to stick around and spend some extra time with her grandson and what a beautiful thing to do - to sing to him through you. She sounds like she was quite the gal but I'm not surprised considering the person her daughter is!

Recent blog:=- Stopping by Butts Bridge

Travis said...

I've told my story about my gram several times, so I certainly believe that your mom had a few things left to do.