I was listening to a Marvel Comics podcast the other day and this particular episode featured the singer of a current rock band called Yellowcard. I have heard their name, but couldn't pick a Yellowcard song out of a lineup if I had too. The singer was a pretty interesting guy, and was a fun listen, so I thought I should check out their music. While I was at the Library with my daughter over the weekend, I randomly picked up the 2012 Yellowcard album called Southern Air, a totally arbitrary pick. None of my normal deep research, over thinking and careful selection of music, just a quick grab.
Driving into work yesterday, I popped the album on, and gave it a listen. My first impression is it was squeaky clean, highly produced pop-rock from the 2000's that I really do not care for. I almost turned it off for my normal podcasts or depressing Cleveland sports radio. But this time, I said, no I will listen to the entire album once. I do believe that albums are meant to be listened to in their entirety, not picked apart as singles. As I was nearing the end, gladly in my mind, a song called Ten came on. (The lyrics to the song are included at the end of my post for reference)
This song hit me hard, I was in tears for the entire track. You see Valentine's Day is one of the worst days of the year for me. This is the day my wife gave birth to our first child Joseph, a day he didn't survive. I said hello and goodbye to my boy on Valentine's Day. The song is about the loss of a child, before you ever had the time to become friends, drive to school or watch Star Wars together in your PJ's. The song questions if you would be best friends, the song questions what would have been. Over the last five years since Joe's birth, the intense daily pain has faded away, and the joyous days I have with our two children have definitely taken over. But we still have moments from time to time, when the feelings flood back. It takes only the comment "I had a Joe moment" between my wife and I and we know the day was tough. This was one of those moments. To randomly find my way to this song, just two days before my son's birthday is a blessing. Even though sad, moments like this cause me to truly treasure my family and all the blessings. I would not be who I am today without all the experiences of my life, good and bad. I will never understand the pain parents have to go through losing a child, but talking and writing about it helps me.
Joe is a part of my life, and no Valentine's Day will ever be the same. I miss him and wish I could have built a pillow fort together, made him laugh, read him some comics, watched Star Wars in our PJ's or just be his friend. Luckily, I have two beautiful kids to do all these things with and more. Not everyone gets that chance. And I know Joe looks over their little shoulders like a guardian angel, After all, I pray he does every single day. One day I will get to meet him, and hopefully I lived a life that he's proud to call me his best friend, and maybe tell his friends he thinks I'm cool...OK that might be a stretch.