Songs and meaning

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep   ... Kenny Rogers (the Gambler)

Who knows why songs appear inside your head? I did not shave today but as I was staring into the mirror brushing my teeth, I began to think, I could grow my beard and look like my brother-in-law or a friend of mine who both resemble in some ways Kenny Rogers the singer. I smiled to myself and the Gambler’s words popped into my head.

So, here I am, listening to Kenny Rogers on Alexa’s mix tape and thinking about “every hand is a winner and every hand is a winner and best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep”. That is a truly a sad lament. A complete loss of hope for the future but it speaks to low places that we find ourselves occasionally in life.

Parkinson’s can be a low place. It does not have to be so.

The switch to Daylight Savings time – there is an oxymoronic statement if there ever was one — is hard for a parkie. So are time zones but those one must travel through to get the unwanted benefit of messing with the meds schedule. But I have diverged. Today after having a very slow start on this second day of EDT, a day that is also warm in Ohio under a worm moon, we went for a walk in the park.

It was an animated walk. Although we are 12 or 13 years down the Parkinson’s road and she is recovering from the time zone change, she is feeling good today. We are walking not far from a neighborhood she knew as a child. The discussion was about grandma and grandpa Pabst. They lived on Pearl Street and had a dog named Moxie. The kids were afraid of the dog. It barked a lot and they sat very still on the couch until great grandma Pabst put the dog into the basement area.

I have heard this story many times over the years and in the past I have shortened the telling by saying that I have heard it before and using commentary and body language to show disinterest. Today I did not. I asked questions to get more detail. After our walk, we drove over a couple blocks to the street and drove around the neighborhood in hopes of jogging a memory or seeing the house. It is a day that she needed to conjure a childhood memory and turn it over and over to examine it. Study it in detail.

We came home and she got out pictures. Very old pictures contained in an old album with the covers deteriorated and broken. It is a good memory of people who are special to her. She was 20 again for awhile. She was telling me stories of her family as though they were still there. For her they are.

Seeing her perk up and become excited to show me something lifted me away from the place I was after listening to Kenny Rogers’s sad end of life lament — “life is hard and then you die.”

All in all a good day.

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