Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Music Therapy

Caveat Lector (Reader Beware) - This post is being authored by Lara's husband, Glen.  Since Lara started this blog on April 14, 2007, she has encouraged me many times to be a guest poster.  Now nearly 5 years later, I am making my debut.  I completely understand if you read no further!!!

I love Lara's blog.  It makes laugh, it makes me cry, but mostly, it chronicles our life together and I treasure the blessing it is to read over past posts and reflect on our experiences.  I hope my "butting in" will not detract from the good she does through her creativity and insight she puts into every post she makes.

So for my maiden post, I wanted to talk about the influence of music in the lives of the Goolds.  Music has always played a huge part in my life.  I attribute my love of music to my mother, Sandy.  Mom is a beautiful singer.  She encouraged me and all of my siblings to learn the beauty of music at a young age.  She battled five boys and one girl through piano lessons hoping to instill her love of music to us.  I still tinker on the piano, but my love of music started at that very young age and still influences me deeply.

One of the ways mom helped us cultivate a passion for music was to give us the opportunity to experience the theater.  I remember being very young when mom and dad treated our family to a live performance of "Annie" in Denver.  Certainly hearing a live performance of "Tomorrow" was captivating enough, but I was then, and still am today, taken with the song "Maybe".  My love of music quickly extended to a love of the theater.  We would often have the opportunity to catch a show at the Playmill in West Yellowstone where seeing the likes of Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, etc.  So it was that my passion for theater and music in general was born.

One of the ancillary blessings from my two year church mission to London was the opportunity to see some of the best theater in the world on the West End.  In particular, every year for our mission's "Christmas present" the mission president would hire out the entire balcony of the Palace Theatre and all 200+ of us missionaries would pile in to be treated to a performance of Les Miserables.  It was an unforgettable experience that touched our souls in a meaningful way and  I will forever be endeared  to the touching story of Jean val Jean.    Since then I have been fortunate enough to share Les Miserables with my wife and children, who I'm happy to say have fallen right in step with a love for music and the theater and for Les Mis in particular.    

So in the recent weeks, whenever I am feeling down and need a boost, one of the things I turn to is my music.  Music has always served as a sort of  "security blanket" to me, but in all that the last several weeks have brought us, music has been nothing short of therapeutic for my soul   A couple of days ago, I was having a long, lonely night in a stream of lonely nights lately, and I turned on the 25th Anniversary performance of Les Miserables and found some solace in the music as well as in the memories!

Jean val Jean singing, "Bring Him Home" has always been the highlight of the show for me and that song in particular has held many contexts for me through the years.   Its meaning sinks deep in my heart, instills memories, and conjures emotions of the best things.  My mom sang it for my mission farewell (with a few artistic license edits) as she and my dad sent me off on my mission all those years ago.  Then, the memories of sitting with my fellow missionaries on the balcony of the theater listening to "Bring Him Home" will forever be etched in my heart.

 So it is that I wanted to add yet another context in the annals of my fond memories of the emotions the song "Bring Him Home" has blessed me with over the years.  With this post, I offer this prayer for my son, Spencer:   

We truly can't wait to bring him home. 


UPDATE (from Lara): 
  • Spence is completely exhausted.    He slept almost 12 hours overnight, then took several naps through the day.  We turned away his tutor, kept the visitors away, and let the poor kid sleep.  His blood counts are low, but not exceptionally low, so I guess it's just his body just fighting extra hard right now. 
  • Pain wise he's doing much better since his surgery.  Today was the first day that he didn't grimace every time he moved, so they weaned him completely from the morphine. 
  • As the nurses come in for their shifts and find out about Spencer's appendicitis, they are all shocked.  None of them had ever heard of a cancer patient being afflicted with appendicitis during treatment. 
  • PLEASE call before coming to visit.  Between his grumpiness,  fatigue and the low blood counts, it's just a good idea to check with us first before coming and if you do come, PLEASE plan on making it a shorter visit.  We are not discouraging people from coming,  but because we want visiting Spence to be as pleasant for everyone as possible, it's just a good idea to check with us first.  703-776-4513    Thank you for being understanding!

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
- Doctrine and Covenants 25:12


Steve-Rosanna said...

Bravo Glen! An outstanding maiden post. We hope that we see you in action every week or so as a fill-in for Lara.

Like you our family has always been enormously blessed by great music. Although our family has not been gifted with a preponderance of musical performance genes, we have been blessed with a great love and appreciation for good music. And like you and your sibs, our children discovered musical theater very early in our lives. We treasured such wonderful music as Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of Penzance, Joseph, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, etc., etc. Several of my children can still sing Joseph word for word. More recently Wicked has joined our lexicon of powerful musical theater.

We have no doubt that Lara is so blessed to find and marry such a kindred spirit as you. Your life together is so blessed by your shared love for good music.

Again thank you so much for your post. And thanks as well for the update on Spencer. Sleep is probably the best possible medicine for him.

Steve said...

No doubt that Tim will forgive me for forgetting to mention the great Stephen Sondheim. Tim discovered Sondheim several years ago and is a giant fan of some of his works. He wrote the music for "Westside Story" and "Into the Woods" and "Gypsy" and "Company" and "Follies" and "Sweeney Todd", etc.

Sondheim joins Andrew Lloyd Webber as two of the greatest composers of our time

Ashley said...

Great post! You're a natural at blog writing, Glen! You should do it more often. :-)

Your mother does have such a beautiful voice, which I have been privileged to hear on occasion. I also loved going to the Playmill Theatre when I was a young girl. I still remember my first show – Guys and Dolls – and to this day, it’s still my favorite! I agree that family can instill in us a love of music and what a blessing that is for music can bring such peace and comfort during difficult times!

Thank you for sharing the song “Bring Him Home” – I'm sad to say I have never heard it before. It's so beautiful! I got chills on that last note. I’m familiar with story and some of the songs from Les Mis, but I’ve never had the chance to see it. I’ll have to change that! (I have seen Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and that was amazing)!

We’re still thinking and praying for you all daily. In fact, I have to tell you that I used one of the quotes Lara put on the end of a blog post as my visiting teaching message this month. The quote was about the wind flexing the branches of trees to help draw the sap to nourish the budding leaves. Wouldn’t you know that we have had very strong gusts of winds over the last week here in Denver. The winds have been so strong that they have woken me and my husband a couple of nights. And every time the wind blows, I think of the quote Lara shared how the gales of life make us stronger even though we don’t like enduring them. And every time the wind blows, I think of Spencer and your family and the faith you have to endure such strong winds. I thank you again - your examples have strengthened me and helped me to draw closer to my Heavenly Father.

K said...

Great job with your first post Glen! Good music is definitely good for the soul and can inspire in ways nothing else can!

I also love that song from Les Mis and can only imagine the way that song touches your family now with the desire for Spence to be home!

Hope to hear from you again sometime soon!

Glad to hear Spence's pain is subsiding from surgery. Hopefully, his energy and good spirits will return soon.

Lots of love and hugs to your family today.

patty said...

I'm very touched by your post, Glen. I will never listen to this powerful song the same way again.

bantcher said...

Excellent post Glen! Thanks for sharing this and your and your family's many incredible talents and feelings with us.

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