I didn’t expect to break down. Heck, I didn’t expect anything.
Last Wednesday, I had just walked in the door after work with bag in tow and sunglasses too dark for the basement door I entered through, and saw my son standing next to the old stereo.
“I fixed it” he said. And he gently put the needle down and a vinyl album began to play.
And I lost it.
I’m not a hugger. I’m not a crier. But I remember that stereo. I remember that sound! So I did both hug and cry; hanging on to my 17 year old confused and somewhat concerned son. I held on for a good 2 minutes. He’s way taller than me and it must have been quite a sight at 6 O’clock at night on a Wednesday in the basement.
That stereo has been sitting in my basement for over a year. It is more than 50 years old and was my mom’s, who passed away three years ago. And it was glorious. I remember it being just about as tall as me though it is not more than 3 feet off the ground. I remember the music it sang: the operas, the arias, even country and western music and Anne Murray at Christmas. I remember it all.
But I didn’t quite remember it all like that till I heard it play standing there in that basement last week. The sound, the crackle of the hi – fidelity speakers, the soft dance and hum of the needle on the record. It all came back. And it was too much. But it was not sadness that made me cry. It was happiness. To hear that sound again, to look at that stereo in awe and wonder again like I did as a kid. To remember in a flash how much time I spent with that stereo through grade school and high school. It was a good thing to feel. Wonderful, actually.
I got to thinking about the things we hold on to. I got to thinking maybe just holding onto things isn’t enough.
I wonder if that old hand carved cribbage board from grandpa needs to be taken from the mantle and put front in center for Friday night game night. I wonder if that 8 mm camera with the black and white family films needs to be carefully and gently opened and then played for all to see. I wonder if the dusty photo albums that never get looked at unless someone dies needs to get hoisted out of the crawl space and spread out across the kitchen table offering a backdrop to some great storytelling.
I got to thinking about things we hold onto at work. I got to thinking maybe just holding on to things there isn’t enough either.
I wonder about that book you’ve had since you were first promoted and that you keep carrying with you from space to space; perhaps that book needs to be pried open and read again as it must have some gems. I wonder about that dear and trusted relationship with a mentor you always remember fondly, if that needs a rekindling with a phone call or a joyful visit. I wonder if those memories of the greatest successes you’ve had, faded though they may be, may need your undisturbed and thoughtful review for they have most certainly left lessons worthy to play again.
I’m not sure my son completely understands what happened to his father last week. I’m not sure I do either. I know this now for sure;
It’s nice to hold on to things but it’s magnificent to hear them play.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.