Wizard of Oz, Bluebirds, Mom   2 comments

Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops

Most Christmas movies tell a story with a merry ending and a good dose of melancholy before the end to increase the satisfaction of “happily ever after.” The film “It’s A Wonderful Life” taught us that every time we hear a bell it means that an angel just got his/her wings. Most people long for and work to create the Christmas magic that can and does happen this time of year. For some it’s midnight mass in a community of believers singing Silent Night. For others it’s watching a loved one open the gift that took much thoughtful planning to bring to fruition.  People string lights on cold days, give puppies as gifts, bake special treats, or visit relatives they have not seen for too long. There will be a new story to tell and repeats of old ones too good to keep from telling again, new babies to greet, empty chairs and sad hearts for those no longer with us.

My large extended family celebrated Christmas a week early when the largest number could gather. There were 12 children under five years of age and seven more a few years older. Thank goodness for my sister’s large house.  No better Christmas present than seeing every one of those children happy and healthy with shiny hair and eyes. My three-year-old niece, Addison, told me about her new favorite movie, the Wizard of Oz and all the best scary parts. As a child my mother read all the books by Frank L. Baum the creator of the Oz stories, and I watched the movie with her many times when I was a little girl.  A few months before my mother died in March 2008, she promised to send me a sign of life after death if she could. We agreed that she would send a bluebird. The day after her funeral I went to a local store to make copies of photos of mom to give to my brothers and sister. While waiting for the photos to be copied, and feeling very sad and wishing I had not tried this so soon after her funeral, I heard a song playing overhead on the store’s sound system. The words I heard were “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” I smiled. I never hear this song played unless it’s when the movie is playing. Then a few days later, I put a disk in my CD player.  I had not listened to the entire new CD. It was a collection of duets by Ray Charles and other artists. I popped the disk in and Ray Charles sang, “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” I had not realized that song was on this disk. Wow! Bluebirds again from mom’s favorite movie. I returned to work a week later, and checked my email. A friend sent me photos of mama animals and their babies and the background music was “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” Unbelievable! I told the story of bluebirds to my brother who called me a few days later to say that he heard the song on the radio at his workplace. A few days after this, his girlfriend called him on the way to his house and said turn on your radio. Yes, the song was playing again!

Listening to my tiny dark-haired niece with shiny brown eyes tell me the story of her deceased grandmother’s favorite movie was more than special, and one of my best presents for 2010.  Happy New Year! May all your dreams come true and troubles melt like lemon drops.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?


Posted January 18, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Essays

2 responses to “Wizard of Oz, Bluebirds, Mom

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  1. Great story Mary! I’m glad to know you can find comfort with the signs Ruth continues to give you! I don’t know if Mel ever told you but the day Marys baby was flown to Denver the doctors had told us not to get our hopes up because Kinzee was in such bad shape. My mom, Mel, and I went to the chapel to pray. Mom and – prayed to God. Melanie prayed to Ruth. After we walked out of the chapel Kinzee had a remarkable turn around thanks to your mom!


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