One Man Band


I’m working on a new fiction novel. I’ve been consumed by it every night for nearly a  month now, and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before and I’m really excited about it.

I sat down tonight to hopefully crank out another few thousand words, and my iTunes shuffled out a ditty from Bob Dylan.

I froze.

I stared at the flashing curser on my computer screen, unable to complete the sentence that I was working on before Dylan came on. I could do nothing but stare, in silence, as his chords of D and G and his raspy voice came through my headphones. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face as I was taken back to my living room many years ago when my mother and I shared a loveseat and played that very song together on matching Yamaha acoustic guitars.

My mama and daddy made a lot of music together. My mother’s voice harmonized well with his unmistakable sound as they strummed those same matching Yamaha guitars. Some of my most prized possessions are the cassette tapes that I have of them singing and playing together. Occasionally you can hear my kindergarten voice interrupt them and ask for a Flintstone Push-Up from the freezer.

I’m incredibly thankful that I was smart enough to record my mother and I playing instruments together– both guitar and piano. In the moment that we made music and shared so much joy and laughter, I knew this season in my life would one day come. I knew that one day she would be gone and I would cherish those recordings of us– just as I cherish the recordings of her and my father.

As Bob Dylan sang into my headphones, I felt terribly alone. I’ve experienced this loneliness countless times in the 14 months that my mother has been dead. I’m no stranger to the sinking feeling that I’m unanchored to this world with both of my parents now gone. But tonight, it hit me stronger than it has in quite some time.

I don’t have anyone to sit on the loveseat with me and play Bob Dylan anymore. I don’t have anyone to tell me to scoot over on the piano bench and flawlessly play Pink Floyd’s, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” I don’t have two cool and insanely talented parents to interrupt and request a popsicle while they are jamming in the living room.

Thank God I have recordings of those fond memories, but I am certainly missing making music with my mother this evening. And I’m missing the sounds of she and my daddy making music together. Our band only has one member left.

One man band.

That’s me.

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About Susannah

I'm a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring best-selling author, wife of one and stay-at-home mother of two. I was chosen for the Top 13 in Blogger Idol and contribute pieces to The Huffington Post and Hahas for Hoohas. My work has also been featured in several humorous e-books, "Southern Writers’ Magazine", "The Humor Daily", "The Funny Times" and on the Erma Bombeck website. When I'm not putting pen to paper, bandaging boo-boos or spraying Shout on unidentifiable stains, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and teaching my children all about Southern charm. God has blessed me beyond measure and to Him be the glory forever.


3 thoughts on “One Man Band

  • Texsheva

    Things are never the same once parents are gone….never. Life goes on, we adjust…but there’s something missing. They are missing. The safe feeling of being a child and someone else taking care of things is missing. My mom and dad have been gone for 21 & 23 years, respectively, and although it happens less and less…the raw grief can still consume me at the most unexpected times, but especially around the Holidays. The Holidays have a very sad tinge to me now. But, I trudge on and try to not show it as I don’t want my kids to remember me as sad over every holiday. You have wonderful memories, as do I. Let’s remember those great memories and treasure them in our minds. Some people don’t even have that….good memories. I thank God, I do.

  • Gloria Clinton Escue

    I know that feeling of being an orphan all too well. Ask those beautiful, precious children of yours to sit with you and play together. Start new memories with them. They need you, you need them. You have to learn to keep going; it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through… You hold on. You pray and you Love….

  • mortenflorenshaugerud

    Thank you, Susannah for sharing these lovely memories. I love how you say that you are now a one man band. It is beautiful and sad at the same time. Like life, really. Good luck on the writing process. By the way, while writing about your parents, I could vividly see them before me, so I guess that for some time and in some way, while you thought about them, wrote about them, and shared them, you were once again playing together. As a family, as a band. Happy weekend your way.

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