Changing Tracks

imageHe was the rock of our family; a hands on dad, great cook, handyman and initiator of spontaneous outings.  His departure left a gaping hole; I missed our jokes and our close bond born of both adventure and adversity, but most of all I missed sharing the joy of watching our little boy grow.

Despite the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis I was determined to be the primary carer of our son. I knew it would be a mighty feat without the support of my former husband, for it was he who had provided a buffer against the physical rigours of everyday life.

I had to prove I could look after our son on my own.   I went through a steep and painful learning curve on how to carry out my new responsibilities whilst factoring in recovery breaks, and then somehow in the evenings I taught myself to cook. I was perpetually exhausted and my son was having trouble sleeping. I was searching in the dark for new ways to be a family.

Music had featured strongly in our house. My son had surprised his grade one teacher when he listed Shirley Bassey, Vaya con Dios and Frank Sinatra as his favourite singers! After his father moved out he continued to play the tunes, but for me they held little joy. On the nights he stayed at his dad’s I stayed up late playing new music with the volume turned high, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes.

The Christmas he turned seven my son received an Elvis Presley CD in his Santa sack.  He was smitten! Every night he performed a new song in commendable Elvis-style with all the sincerity a seven year old can muster.  For his birthday he received a Live in Las Vegas dvd and we watched it utterly mesmerised; I finally ‘got’ Elvis – the emotion, the swagger, the small town politeness. Our boy knew the words to every song and on Friday nights we held a concert; music filled the house again.

We were creating new memories to the backdrop of Viva Las Vegas.  We went to the local RSL to see an Elvis impersonator; we travelled to Rod Laver Arena where on a giant screen The King came to life while his original backup singers and guitarist performed live on stage.  There were thousands of fans right here in Melbourne; we were part of an underground culture!

As my son grew into his teens Elvis faded away, but every now and then he’ll pull out the Vegas dvd and we sit transfixed on the couch with our new dog.  My changing track is ‘If I can Dream’; it’s for the end of the dark days when my seven year old belted out Elvis with fervour and passion, and we became a family again.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen McQually
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 23:02:07

    beautiful xxx

    Reply

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