Jilda and I wrote a song several years ago entitled “The Rhythm of Life.” The lyrics describe the ebb and flow that we all face as we cruise through life. There were years when I felt as though I were riding a wave of good fortune, and then other years not so much.
This year got off to a rough start when Jilda started taking infusion treatments to help fortify a faulty immune system. Then a few weeks after my birthday in January, my mom had a stroke and died about 10 days later.
We lost two friends, and our three oldest dogs this year as well. One of the dogs died in July, one a few days before Christmas, and the other a couple days after.
It was a year of loss, so I haven’t been myself during the holidays. Jilda was off work today and we decided to start practicing songs for an upcoming gig on January 4.
While flipping through the book of our original songs, I came across the lyrics to “Rhythm of Life.”
Although the song is not upbeat, I smiled as I read the words because they reminded me that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
The lyrics seemed to put things into perspective. There were times in my life that I felt lower than a snail’s belly, and I wondered if I’d ever see the light of day. But nothing says it better than the old cliche, “the sun will rise again.”
I know it’s true because I’m living proof.
I was fired on Jan. 15, 1976. What made the sack stink worse was that it was my birthday.
Jilda worked at Keynote Fashions at the time but she didn’t make enough for us to live on.
I worked odd jobs, sometimes two or three at a time to help make ends meet. The rubber on our tires was so thin you could see the air inside them.
We ate butterbeans, cornbread and a lot of Spam. Sometimes when money got really tight, Jilda’s mom and dad let us raid their cabinets. Christmas gift giving that year was slim.
I’d gotten to know a man named Jim Young when I worked for the newspaper. He was a general manager with South Central Bell for this area. I’d written favorable stories for him, and he never forgot it.
Just before Christmas 1976, he called to ask if I’d ever considered working for MaBell. He knew I was a veteran, which didn’t hurt. The phone company gave preference to veterans in those days.
I interviewed, did well on all the tests, so on Jan. 3, 1977, I went to work as a garageman for the company.
It was like the dark clouds of that year moved off to the east and even though it was rainy and cold that first day of work, it seemed as if sunshine had come back into my life.
Below is the chorus to our song.
“Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry
You lose at love, and don’t know why
The ever flowing rhythm of life
It’s been this way, since time began
A timeless tapestry, a master plan
Life is a mystery, yin and yang in perfect harmony
The ever flowing rhythm of life.”
I hope you all have a bright and prosperous 2013.