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Feb 26


There are some wounds you don’t heal from. Some blows that you just don’t move past or recover from. And that’s part of life, and it’s hard and it hurts and there are certain songs that will play and instantly bring me back to a part of my life that was so exquisitely painful that I instantly start sobbing.

It always takes me back to that place. And there are really only two songs that I respond to like that. One of them is Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” and the other one is Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Neither artist is one I listen to on a regular basis, and those are the only songs I actually know.

“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” played in the car on my way to see Marc, just after the miscarriage. It was playing when I drove past Fowler Junior High in Maynard, and once I heard it, I started crying so hard, I had to pull over because I couldn’t see well enough to drive. I was so sad, and couldn’t imagine ever feeling good again. I was missing the girl I used to be, the one who hadn’t lost her babies, the one who was just happy. Optimistic and ready for whatever. I couldn’t fathom how I’d get back to that place. Everything was dark and sad and awful. And even though it’s been almost twenty years, three kids, and a whole bunch of joy and contentment since then, all it takes is the opening chords to remind me of how much it hurt.

“Hit Me with Your Best Shot” is a song that puts me in a place of feeling like my kids are being attacked. It’s my cathartic song, the one I play when I need to muster up the strength to keep going. It’s celiac diagnoses and IEP meetings, it’s legally blind certifications and anxiety diagnoses. That’s the song I play when I need to grieve and be angry and feel like I need to fight. Like, we’re going to keep going, and get thru this even though it seems like things keep getting thrown at my kids over and over again.

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