Monday, May 5, 2014

Heart and Soul

Music is my life, so we chose carefully. Shuffling back and forth, making up our minds, only to change them once again.

Thankfully, we had the help of our other musical counterparts. Amy, my brother, and cousin weighed in and threw songs our way. Pie Nights turned into service planning nights, and many included mostly the music.

The processional song was set from the beginning. An unwavering Ave Maria. This was my grandmother's favorite song - and she - one of my very favorite people. We played this song the day of our wedding as I walked down the isle. Somehow it once again struck me as perfect. I especially wanted and needed my grandmother's presence on Aviana's day.

In the end, we chose the songs which meant the most to us as a family. We also made sure they best represented both the good, and difficult times.

Christine McVie has always been my favorite in Fleetwood Mac, and Songbird has never held more meaning to me than after we lost Aviana. 

Gary Allan ties our family together beautifully. We all shared so much laughter and happiness together while listening to him. Aviana was such a goof over that man! I have no idea where she got that! Probably Dave! Not only did Aviana and I completely bond over him, but he also happens to be one who understands true tragedy. Gary Allan's music continued to help through the years after Aviana's accident, so appropriate doesn't even begin to describe his collection.

The Beatles. Where do I begin? I suppose all my life, but truly back in the 9th grade when my room was floor to ceiling covered, and that's just about all you heard coming from my speakers. Yep, I was that girl, the one with every ounce of paraphernalia. And Blackbird? How could I have known at such a young age? That melody and those perfectly strung lyrics would so beautifully apply in my life and to our freshly freed girl? Never. Not ever. All these songs, I could never have imagined - to me, to her, to us, and especially in this way. Ever.

I've never really been a Garth Brooks fan. In fact, I only have about three of his songs. So when my cousin floated me The Dance, I was hesitant. One listen, and I was in tears. It was so incredibly powerful. I never listened through the ears of death. Every single time I watch the video, I have no choice but to cry. If not that day in the beginning, I will because of that song. It's perfect. I am eternally grateful for that song. Every word resonates with us.

We went back and forth with the recessional song most. As people walk out, they may want a more upbeat, pep in their step know, before they go eat their Costco hosted lunch. Would you expect anything else from this family? Aviana was the Snapple Queen and for us, (meaning all) going to Costco is a serious hobby! We were brought up that way. It's in our blood. Dave says I'm a cheap date because all he has to do is take me to a different Costco! He's right.

Anyway, I was torn between IZ's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow (which I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever) and The Band Perry, If I Die Young. Back and forth we circled. Dave and I finally said, "It has to be If I Die Young!" We felt it most. It was Aviana's story. It was our story. It was our end. It was what's to come. It was everything. The lyrics summed up our journey, the day to come, and the rest of our life as we saw it - both happy and sad at times, both blessed and a difficult at times. Overall, we loved it because it represented our reality. We thought it was the perfect send off. 


  1. I just watched the beautiful video of Aviana, Jen. Both tragedy and triumph, sadness and beauty beyond belief, as I see the people in her life that loved her so much. Thanks for sharing that, and also all your words along this journey you have taken in life with that one amazing little girl. Praying for you in your grieving. I know it will take many forms, bring both tears and smiles through the years.
    Nancy in the Midwest

    1. You captured everything so perfectly Nancy. Thank you : )

  2. Ya'll made the perfect choices.

  3. I'm I hope that this makes sense. I wish so badly that I could have been there. To say goodbye, but mostly to hug you. Mom said that it was as beautiful service, and just perfectly fit for Avi. Emma loves If I Die Young, and as a mom, it breaks my heart to hear her sing it. Maybe it won't as much anymore. Maybe it will make me think of Avi, and how she is free. How she is whole.

    I don't remember how, but the subject of Avi came up when I was talking with the nurse that comes out to do my infusions. I told her about the accident, and the years that followed. How Avi gradually stopped eating, how wonderful hospice was for you. How her little body was lovingly cared for and held in the end. The nurse told me about her years working in pediatrics, and dealing with the death of young patients. She talked about refusing to eat, and felt that you did absolutely the right things. (As I always have.) I left that conversation feeling at peace. Feeling that in my heart she was free. I think that had I been there that day, I would have felt that so much sooner. I miss you - and I owe you that hug. <3

    1. Hi Jillian ~

      You made absolute perfect sense, in every way. Yes, that song still both breaks and sets my heart floating free at the very same time. That's what a great song has the power to do, doesn't it? Send you on a roller coaster, yet leave you feeling more refreshed than not? Speaking of roller coaster. I so wanted to attach the lyric video for Eric Church's Roller Coaster Ride to one of my most recent posts. I think it so perfectly sums up this past 5 years. The video was gone when I went to grab it : ( I so love music for that reason, explains what the heart so desperately can't exactly place into words.

      I am so happy you feel more at peace after talking to your nurse. I so love the great nurses and doctors out there. They make the world go 'round : ) I want that hug. Let's figure it out. Let me know what works for you and then I'll plan around!

      I love you Jillian!!