An avid lover of music, two bands hold special places in my heart. These two bands transcend generations, and I can’t think of many others that possess such talent. Some of my fondest memories include singing along to The Eagles’ “New York Minute” with my Nana as we drove through the dancing golden Fall streets of the South Shore of Massachusetts, and to this day the unmistakable voice of Bob Seger immediately evokes both nostalgia in my heart and a deep sense of both happiness and mourning for my dear grandfather.
Thank God, my beloved Nana is still with me today. She’s young, vibrant, and still working. Ironically, we still sing along to The Eagles any chance we get. I only wish I had realized just how special those Fall drives were as a young girl. While I undoubtedly do now, I feel like I should’ve known that I was so very blessed to have such an awesome and progressive Nana who jammed out to one of the greatest rock bands of all times! As time passed and my Papa left us, I realized that we are all, in fact, mortal. This scary trauma further filled me with a yearning for the ability to go back, even for one drive; one Fall afternoon where I could sit in the passenger seat front and center next to my Nana and belt out “In a New York Minute…Ohhh, Ooohhh, Ooohhh,” and take in everything the ride had to offer; the sound of her voice, the exact hue of the golden-colored foliage, the smell and feel of the crisp air, and the warmth of the Autumn sun as it shone down upon us. If I had only realized those moments wouldn’t last forever.
Although he has went on record saying he hated the line “I wish I didn’t know now/what I didn’t know then,” this is one of my favorite Seger lines. To be so naive as to not know, how wonderful. They say ignorance is bliss and that’s my interpretation of this line. I, for one, wish “I didn’t know now/what I didn’t know then.” My grandfather, whom I lovingly called, Baby, was a huge Seger fan, maybe even bigger than me! My sisters’ and myself spent our childhood weekends at our paternal grandparents’ house (Nana and Baby’s), and more often than not, the Bose System floated Seger throughout the house as Nana made her “Famous French Toast” for breakfast, or Baby worked in the garage on one of his many muscle cars. Car rides and road trips were no different. Baby drove a blue Chevy pickup, and when Chevy used Seger’s “Like a Rock” in its marketing of the truck, Baby was in Heaven. We spent most road trips in the truck listening to “Like a Rock” from that point on. Again, I find myself wishing I had only realized how special those mornings, afternoons, and car rides were. Because unlike my maternal grandmother (my Nana), Baby is no longer with us. While “Like a Rock” may have figuratively brought him to Heaven, a heart attack ultimately delivered him to Heaven in 2011. I was beyond devastated and overcome with grief. There was so much left unsaid; so much I hadn’t even realized I needed to tell him; thank him for.
If I had only realized…