I Believe in Time Travel

I believe in time travel. In order to go into the past, you don’t need a wormhole or a Delorean traveling at eighty-eight miles per hour, just a song. Music has a way of fusing itself with our experiences such that upon listening to a certain song allows a total re-immersion.

When I was eight, my father was diagnosed with Lymphoma. My second oldest brother and I were not aware of it. My mother and father had decided to keep us sheltered from his fight to stay alive, distancing him and his disease from us. Incase we did loose him, he did not want his struggle for life to define our childhoods. I remember the house being filled with Jell-O, one of the only foods he could eat. I remember the musty, old smell of the room my father always stayed in. I remember the breadcrumbs in the macaroni and cheese our neighbors kept making for us. The details of my father’s illness did not occur to me until he had fully overcome it, two years later.

The day I became enlightened, my mother waited in the hospital to hear the results of his second chemotherapy treatment, when he won the battle against cancer. As she began to cry, ‘What a Wonderful World’ came on the radio. The rising violins, humming trumpets and Louis’ distinct voice became cemented into the emotions and senses of the moment.

Eight years later at my cousin’s wedding, my mother and father danced to that same song. Her head rested against his shoulder with hands pressed behind each other’s hearts, turning and swaying. To most, they blended in with the other dozen odd couples, who held their partners close. However, I saw something sad in my mother’s smile. I know what the song means to her.

As those old emotions are renewed, the song makes her endlessly thankful to be holding him. It reminds her of the hardships, yet she deeply appreciates the course her life has taken. These precious moments emotionally blended by music are our gateways to the past.

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