Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Songs of Influence

Monday, December 28, 2015
Posted By: 
Gerry Sousa


Life is about change, about transitions from old to new.  It is about approaching things we have always encountered in our life in a new way.  Sometimes it is our choice to try to change.  Sometimes life is thrust upon us, and change comes upon us.  How we approach the changes in our life is everything to us in our common experiences as widowers and widows as well as us being human beings.  


I was reminded of this idea of change recently based on a radio show I listened to around Thanksgiving.  It was a show that asked some famous Chicagoans 3 songs that have influenced them.  The song “Move On” from the musical “Sunday In The Park With George” was brought up by 1 of the people interviewed because it helped him through a tough time of his life.   I saw that musical with Dick, my late husband, in 1984.  It was my first Broadway show, and Dick was so excited to show me the incredible power of musical theater.  As I remembered the show, I had forgotten about this one song in the show.  Reading the lyrics today made me realize that this character in the musical was struggling with change just as I had when I became a widow.  There is a part of this song that struck me as poignant:


Look at what you want,

Not at where you are,

Not at what you’ll be


I didn’t know how to interpret these lyrics when I was 21 years old.   Now at 52, I realize that change is something that is difficult, but I can also try to work in my favor.  I can use the holidays to launch into new things, and change can then be a way of asking for what I want in my life.


My boyfriend Tim and I bought a house together this year, so we have just experienced our first Christmas together in our new home.  We have old traditions that we want to keep going and new ones that we want to create together.  We kept an old tradition of mine going, which is getting a live Christmas tree.  We found a new place to purchase it and made a fun morning of it rather than a chore to be endured.  We also started a new potential tradition, eating earlier on Christmas Eve because we were incorporating Tim’s 2 grandchildren into our routine.  Both of these changes felt right, and we have worked hard to let these changes flow naturally.


As I continue on this journey onto new parts of my life, I can now slowly start to appreciate change.  It looks different, that’s for sure.  But if I can accept the fact that change is coming and I can possibly adjust to it according to my wishes, it will all be worth it!



Thanks Gerry, This is just what I needed to hear. Change is so difficult especially when the change is thrust upon us-- so easy to just resist it and not move on.

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