Friday, April 17, 2009

The Mix…

Life is a lot like a mix tape. It has angry songs, poignant songs, invigorating songs, sexy songs, beautiful songs and songs that take your breath away. Songs that make you cry and songs that lift you up and bring a smile to your face. And just like in life, the songs change. Music you once listened to does not quite resonate like it once did and new music lights up your soul. And a new mix is created…

We are like that. We change. Hopefully moving forward and embracing the new directions and paths life presents us, but not always. Things that once used to be so important no longer seem pertinent in our lives. Songs I once loved now do not seem to strike the same chord they once did. My tastes change. I change. Life changes. I have new interests. New insights. Some things remain the same. Some things are just who I am. My core remains unchanged like this stone sitting at the bottom of a river. The eddies swirling around me, bringing new life, new hope and new direction.

Even now, I have noticed a shift in my musical tastes in the last year. Yet another signal of all the changes I have undergone. I am not the same woman I was and never will be again. Sometimes I think about her, the woman I was, and it makes me sad. I miss her complete innocence. Her utter naivety of the pain and heartbreak one person could endure. Her total incomprehension of what it truly meant to die and how messy, painful and heartrending it could be. I miss her simplicity.

And yet, I like the new Skye. She is more confident. She has an inner strength that goes to her foundation that can never be torn down again. She is a warrior and a survivor and not one to be trifled with anymore. She has a low tolerance for bullshit and platitudes. She has few filters left and finds people should not ask her opinion if they really do not want the answer. She is not one to be fucked with anymore. Life is too short and there is enough crap out there to deal with in our everyday lives that anything not positive and/or productive is not worth her time.

Do not get me wrong. I still get insecure. I still get scared. And I still hate being fragile. I am still an emotional, passionate woman and probably always will be. I still cry…a lot. I have always been a crier and probably always will be. But David taught me that crying is not a sign of weakness and I try to remember that when the tears come…as they invariably do.

I am human and I will make mistakes. I will fuck-up. But hopefully I will not be quite as hard on myself as I once was when I do. I will continue to try and embrace life with all of its insanity and unpredictability and continue to dream. To live. I will hopefully continue to change and evolve and move forward…just like those mix tapes.

Dave loved mix tapes. He used to create them for me regularly. We always had a strong connection to music and throughout our courtship, marriage and life; it has played an integral part. Songs have always been something I identified with. Kind of like sign posts for the moments in our lives. Little musical moments that bring back specific memories and emotions.

And over the years as those tapes became CD’s, he did not make quite as many as he once did in those first few years, but he still made them. Sometimes they would find their way into a card or onto my front seat …waiting for me on my drive to work. They always had a theme. Dave was all about themes. And they were splendid! His mixes had a certain rhythm and cadence to them. I used to throw a bunch of songs on a CD I liked and call it a mix and David would laugh. Mine were always a bit of everything. Scattered and quirky…kinda like me.

Music was such a big part of our lives from the moment we met. We both loved music and it was something we shared. I have always believed music has the power to transport you to wherever you want to be. It can uplift your spirits and make you soar and it can also strip you down to your core, laying your vulnerabilities bare. And seeing as our love affair began with music…so it should end that way.

So, I think it is time for one last mix for David. I know it may not have the same flow and rhythm David’s would have had, but I will do my best.

Below is a brief musical journey through our life. Songs that were quintessentially David or pivotal in our lives and marriage; little moments captured in song of our all too brief life together. And a few that reflect my own journey through grief and my path towards a new future…

Two songs are missing from my mix link because the songs were not available to be added.
Men without Hats – On Tuesday
Assemblage 23 - Drive

A song list is below as well and a little bit of history on the songs I chose and why....

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The Hooters-And We Danced
This song takes me back to the early years…

B-52’s – Roam
Dave loved the B-52’s and this song reminds me of all the travels we were going to go on and places we were going to see, but never got the chance.

The Rembrandts – Chase the Clouds Away
I came across a mix tape that David had made for me way back when we were dating in 1993. I absolutely loved this song then and what it had to say. Ironically, it became more apt in the final years of our marriage than it was then. Strange how life leads us down different paths than we expected to take.

Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
People used to say our love was like a fairy tale, sometimes comparing us to Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately, we were two close to that fateful pair and ours was a tale of tragedy too. But we both always loved this song and its passion. A love that would transcend everything.

Genesis – Follow You Follow Me
The lyrics pretty much say it all. Genesis was one of David’s favorite bands and we saw them in concert his last year of life. When this song came on, it brought David to tears. I think we both knew that we were on the final stretch of this journey and that our paths would be parting in the near future.

Indigo Girls – Power of Two
This was played on every road trip and the song was us, simply said.

John Mellencamp – Your Life is Now
Dave always loved this song and it was the one he chose to be played at his ‘Celebration of Life.’ It was his motto. His favorite line was, “Do you believe you’re a victim of a great compromise cause I believe you could change your mind and change our lives.”

Tom Petty – Wildflowers
I was his wildflower, hence the name of my blog.
He always said this was my song…

John Mellencamp – Dance Naked
Dave always used to sing this to me and even now it always brings a smile to my face.

Crazy Town – Butterfly
He always used to sing this one to me too. Although I have never had a tongue ring. ;)

Men without Hats – On Tuesday
This song just reminds me of him, when we met and our 15 years together.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Lazy days in bed. A beautiful love song…

VNV Nation – Darkangel (Gabriel)
This was David’s anthem song. He used to sing it with such passion. He was so angry about what the Cancer did to our life. To our family. To me. He always talked of what I had to do and how much he hated it. How it killed him to see it tearing me apart.

The All-American Rejects – Move Along
David used to crank this on the way to surgeries, chemo, appointments…you name it. It got him focused and ready for “battle” I used to say. It kind of became my own anthem for a time after he died. Keeping me moving forward, despite every ounce of my being wanting to curl up and fade away.

The Weepies – The World Spins Madly on
I blogged about this once and this post pretty much says it all.
Post titled: The world spins madly on... Friday, July 04, 2008

Lifehouse – Broken
The lyrics say it all and the chorus pretty much captures the place I was emotionally after David died.

Train-When I look to the Sky
If this song isn’t about bereavement, I don’t know what is. All the lyrics are fitting, but the opening lines I have always felt were so true.
Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing
Read the title. This song is beautiful and haunting. Enough said…

Shiny Toy Guns – Rainy Monday
David never heard Shiny Toy Guns but this song reminded me of him. He would have absolutely loved this band.

David died on a rainy Monday, and it rained for days after. But now when I hear this song, I think about David. And although he is gone, I still have the love and beauty that resides inside me…and always will. Not that this song is remotely about that, but that is what it reminds me of.

Assemblage 23 – Drive
I love this song, the lyrics, everything. And as the song says, “The open road unwinds before me, an onyx ribbon spreading out. No idea where I'll be going, sometimes the journey is what counts.” After everything I have seen and experienced, I now believe that the journey is what matters in life, not the destination.

Van Halen – Dreams
This song is just Skye. Pure Skye. I have always loved the line, “Standing on broken dreams, but never losing sight.” It is such a visual image and one I believe to my core. That is life. Some dreams are lost along the way and new ones rise like a phoenix out of those ashes.

I believe we all should continue to dream. Live. Believe. Hope.
Standing on all of our broken dreams and daring to reach towards the sky once more...


At April 17, 2009 2:11 PM, Blogger Satine said...

I love this mix you have here for Dave! First of all, like you, I cherish old mix-tapes and old mix-CDs from friends and from Nick, and it's cooincidental that you happened to write about mix tapes when we both recently listened to our old tapes. I think you and I are probably familiar with a lot of the same music since Nick and Dave also exchanged music as kids.

I think it's very romantic and powerful that you have designed this final chapter of music for a particular collection.

Assemblage 23 is a band I listened to a lot once I was in my 20s though--actually once I started to go to the old Sanctuary club.

Men without Hats is a band Nick introduced me to, but which I still love today.

The Rembrandts is a band I used to listen to and nearly forgot about--wow!

Lifehouse is a band I discovered on my own in my mid-20s that saved my life--different song for me, but same band... barely anyone knows about that...

I intend to listen to your whole mix if I can from home--I'm on my lunch break right now at work and can't listen to it just yet.

...and for the record, I DO BELIEVE what you say is true--you would you both followed each other until you could follow no more. Heartwrenching yet beautiful. And you ARE strong... but even if you ever were not, there is NOTHING WRONG with being weak either sometimes. It's human nature to be both I think. And you will continue to be loved as much. :)

At April 20, 2009 9:48 AM, Anonymous Roads said...

Romeo and Juliet -- now there's a streetsus serenade, if ever I heard one.

How I loved Making Movies -- and how I still do, whenever I come back to it. I can't think of any other album where the guitar is effectively another vocal, as it is throughout that record.

And Snow Patrol, yes -- I went to see them live last month in London. They're playing Chicago's Soldier Field with U2 in September, and so with luck you might still find a ticket...

At April 20, 2009 3:50 PM, Blogger Star said...

I found my tastes in things have changed too. I never liked R&B/HipHop, now I love it. I never liked onions, now I do. Same with tomatoes.

And like you songs take me down to my knees or lift me up. I can hear a song and it instantly will send me to another time and place or just make me cry.

At April 24, 2009 1:48 PM, Blogger Skye said...

Thanks Roads. Making Moves was and still is a kick ass album!

Yeah, the first show sold out and they added a second show recently for U2/Snow Patrol and the only tickets left for that one are pretty insane! Thanks for the heads up though…

At April 24, 2009 1:50 PM, Blogger Skye said...

That’s so true, ”Songs take me down to my knees or lift me up.” Well put...
Thanks for checking in.

At April 24, 2009 3:06 PM, Anonymous BreAnn said...


I'm Michelle's sister, and you and I have never actually met, but I read your blogs often. Thank you for sharing your feelings and inspirations for all to read . . . you are a brave soul, an amazing and strong person, and more wise and appreciative of life now than most people will ever be in their entire lifetime!

I've been listening to these songs at work today and I find it difficult to not get all teary in the process . . . which you may find strange since I do not actually know you personally.

However, I have always been a person who tries hard to "live for today" and show my love and appreciation for the amazing people in my life because you never Do know what tomorrow will hold. But even I get caught up in everyday stresses and distractions and sometimes fall back into that "normal oblivious person" thought process where you get upset and frustrated about everyday stupid trivial things in life.

And that's why I have to thank you for keeping me humble, and reminding me to think about what's Really important in life . . . and to never take anything or anybody for granted.

Personally, I have more recently Finally found the man who I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I feel blessed to have such an understanding and loving relationship . . . and I can't even fathom the idea of losing him. And thanks to your sharing and openness, I often put myself "in check" from time to time to remember what this life is all about. To remember to appreciate the things I have rather than the things I don't. To take the time to express my feelings to those important in my life. To remember to wake up and try to be kind and caring to those around me. And that when it all comes down to it, we leave this earth and hopefully have left a positive impact on others.

Please know that through your incredibly hard times, you have inspired many many others in the process, people like myself that you may not even know about.

And even though I have been fortunate enough that I haven't had to suffer greatly in my life, I believe that everything---good and bad---happens in life for a reason. And although I don't wish for anybody to EVER have to suffer the ways you may have, maybe in some small way you have gone through all this to, in turn, inspire, motivate, and encourage hundreds or thousands of other people to REALLY appreciate what’s important in life and to never take your loved ones for granted.

And I hope that encourages you to keep pushing on and realize how important you are--and can be--in many people's lives even if you have never met them or know they exist. I know there are probably many others out there like me.

Stay strong and thanks again for sharing. You are one amazing person!


At April 24, 2009 7:55 PM, Blogger M.J. said...

I came across your blog after donating to my cousin who is walking in honor of your husband. I also blog, but barely make the time nowadays. I just want to tell you that you are such an encouragement to me, someone you have never met before. Thru reading your blog, you have given me strength. I am not fighting the battles that you did or that you are right now, and yet you have inspired me thru this blog.

At May 01, 2009 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a great mix you made for Dave. I have to agree that music was a HUGE part of your lives. Music helps define a person, and allows someone to express themselves beyond words.

Some of my favorite moements with the two of you were music related (The Depeche Mode concert we went to when you were first dating; The Sting concert we attended that was my wedding present to you - trying to be non-traditional(!)); and concerts that we shared together as a diversion from Dave's illness when we went to go see Billy Idol and VNV Nation live.

As friends, Dave and I shared a love of music together, and it was nice to seethe two of you connect in the same way at a much deeper and more wonderful level.

I was lucky enough to make music and do some recording with Dave before we lost him. To share that with him even at a creative level was special - just like Dave was - irreplacable as an experience.

Hope you are well. Thanks for sharing the music, and may the happy songs always play in your heart!

Cheers, -Nick

At May 03, 2009 10:48 AM, Blogger Single Parent Dad said...

Quality post, and a great one for me to start on.

Sorry that we tick the same box in the marital status part of forms, but delighted to have found your blog (via Roads)

And I totally get what you mean, the other thing I often ponder is 'would my wife have liked that' when I hear new stuff.

And Crazy Town, wow, only recently was I re-listening to that.


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