Remembering Our Legacy This Mother's and Father's Day
Mother's Day and Father's Day present for those whose parents have died days of mixed feelings. Feelings that are integrated with sadness and heart tugs of longing to be with them to feelings of praise and adoration for they life they lived. You spend time remembering all they taught you and become surprised sometimes by a smile on you face when you think about the funny things you shared. You might also long for the opportunity to make things different than they were and realize that you can not change the past.
Tony Falzano, song writer and grief specialist writes about remembering our parents on those special days inspite of the fact they are not with us physically we can hold on to the legacy they left behind and honor them in how we live our lives.
by Tony Falzano
She was an attractive woman with thick, dark hair that started turning white in the middle of her life. She was the oldest of 3 children. Her mother was from Scotland and her father was from England. She loved to cook and tend to her flowers in the garden. She had many friends. One of the things I remember about her was how she loved listening to Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand. She would sit in her chair with her head back and her eyes closed. I still recall that ever so slight smile crossing her lips as she heard her favorite songbirds sing.
He was a good-looking man. He was one of eight children of Italian descent. He was stern, hard working and realistic. He was a three-letter athlete in high school before becoming a veteran of World War II. He was into wood-working and sports. One of the vivid memories I have of him was his love for swing music and jazz. He would whistle the melody as the song played from the home stereo or car radio. I can still hear him say, “Boy, I wish I could play the piano like that.”
This is a snapshot of my parents. Both of them have passed on. And, like you, I will remember them as we celebrate Mother's Day on May 8 and then Father's Day on June 19th.
Since their passing, life has been different. Obviously, there are no more personal visits or phone calls. There are no more firm handshakes from dad or kisses on the soft cheek of my mother. The physical beings have left this world and sometimes the years have removed some of the memories I once had of them. And since I’m an only child, there is no sibling who can help me remember them. But over the last few years, others who have lost their parents have shown me another way I can recall my mother and father; I can remember their legacy.
Legacy will often prompt us to view the relationship with our parents with a specific dimension. Legacies are important and a true sign that the individual was here and left behind something valuable for us. They often will define our own existence and show us the connection to our parents. This could be by way of a profession or business, a hobby or passion, a saying or expression. It could simply be a way of life, as it was for a good friend of mine who has lost both his parents.I asked him what he thought was his parents legacy. He immediately responded, “style.” He went on to say that, “my mother and father introduced me to good food, culture and entertainment. I was lucky; from New York City to Montreal and throughout the northeast, I got to see a lot. They showed me how to enjoy life. I carry that with me today.”
As for me, most people know my passion for creating music. In the last ten years my music has found a home with those grieving loss. It is available now and what is equally important is that it will be available to help others long after I’m gone. One reason I have this ‘gift’ is due to my parents. In addition to giving me life itself, they surrounded me with music and then in their own way, showed me how it affected them. Even today, when I compose music, I visualize my mother with her head back in the chair and my dad whistling along with the melody. Little did I know that when I was young, these outward, almost unnoticeable signs of embracing and connecting to music would be such an influence on the music I write and those who listen to it.
And music now lives on in my children. My son plays guitar and is one of the songwriters in his rock group. And my daughter hears the music and translates it into dance, which she started when she was 3 years old. A part of my parents and me are there when I see them “doing their thing” with music. I’m sure you can relate to this with your own legacies.
May 8th and June 19th might be 2 good days to look at your own existence through what defined your parents and how that now lives in you and others.
I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day and Father's Day. I will be standing next to you celebrating, remembering, and honoring your parents as I honor mine and where the journey for each of us began.
Tony Falzano is an author, college professor and an award winning songwriter who speaks on the enormous health benefits that music has to offer. His articles on the power in music to heal can be found in all the major grief magazines and websites.
In addition, Tony has just released his new music CD, "Just a Touch Away". Along with his first album, "In Abba’s Arms", his music has reached the souls of many grieving a loss. Both CDs contain beautifully orchestrated, instrumental music designed to be a companion to those searching for healing and hope.
"Just a Touch Away" and “In Abba’s Arms" are available through www.cdbaby.com. Tony can be reached at, tonyfalzano@AOL.com.