Paul Simon, Mum, and Me

This Easter, my husband and I spent about $1500 to see Paul Simon play at a Hunter Valley winery. That included travel, accommodation, and ticket costs. Husband was concerned it might not be very good. He  warned not to get my hopes up, as Paul Simon had aged. I was certain it couldn’t be a better investment.

When my mum was alive, Paul Simon was the only music we knew. ‘Graceland’ accompanied all but every car trip, and when his concert on VHS was released, we watched it every weekend. I am conditioned to associate the man with my mum.

Mum passed when I was 15 and listening to Paul Simon since has been my way to feel close to her, and it’s not always been of my doing. On the tail end of a rough day, ‘Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes’ is played on the radio, or at Coles that night. It’s always worked out that way. I believe it’s Mum saying, “It’s alright Bec, I’m here.” Usually, I’m not into that psychic stuff, but it – hearing Paul Simon – happens when I desperately need it to.

We played ‘You Can Call Me Al’ at our recent wedding, and it started a conga line. She would have loved it.

Mum always said, “No one will love you more than your mum.” So when she died, we didn’t see her body again, smell her perfume, and we stopped hearing Paul Simon as frequently. And all of these missing bits were replaced with a fat open wound. I’ve had many loving people try to bandage it, sew it, but they can’t. It will probably be there until I have my own children. When the mother-child bond builds my scar.

On March 30, I had husband AND my mum with me for a definite two hours or so. It was a little bit of anaesthetic.

By Rebecca Granfield


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