Afraid of Ruining John Cougar Mellencamp

Uffda, Darling Ones,

Today was rough.

As I mentioned yesterday, telling my clients about my dad being in hospice weighed heavily on my mind.

Since I had a pre-scheduled call with a client, I ripped the Band-Aid off with her. I only cried a little, mostly because she called me, “a force of joy in the world.” Hell, I’m crying again typing it. She was super understanding and gently encouraged me to tell my clients and everyone I know. She said to give people the chance to support me, even if the only thing I need is good vibes. I am very fortunate to work with kind people.

Thus far all my clients have been kind and their kindness brings me to tears. To be fair, most things always bring me to tears. I’m a crybaby under the best circumstances. Right now, being so emotionally fragile means the tears are always right on the surface.

This afternoon when I was done with work for the day I cried while hearting tweets about the ‘Mats Midway concert on this day back in 2014.

Now that work is no longer weighing heavy on my mind, I’ve decided to worry about ruining John Cougar Mellencamp.

When my nineteen-year-old cousin Alan died in 1996 they played Tom Petty’s song “Free Falling” during the graveside service. Twenty-six years later and that song still gives me a stomachache whenever I hear it.

For some reason, at least for today, the only thing my brain and ice-robot heart want to hear is ol’ JCM.

John Cougar Mellencamp’s music has been a comfort to me for as long as I’ve known music could provide comfort. It’s easy to listen to. I know all the words by heart. A lot of it the songs remind me of childhood/teenagehood. It’s all the good things.

This is why I do not want to sully the good tunes of Mr. Mellencamp with the time when my dad was dying. And yet, my brain is like no ‘Mats only Mellencamp. No Waxahatchee or Liz Phair or Material Issue.

So this is the thing my brain has fixated on today in order to not think about my dying dad and everything his death will bring.

Your force for joy in the world,

P.S. I have to admit that my favorite JCM song is “Cherry Bomb” and I was forty-nine years old before I learned the line is “that’s when a sport was a sport” and not “that’s when a smoke was a smoke.” I might have already told you that. I was pretty shook by that discovery. I think my version is better. Who cares about sports?

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