Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Music Memories… More Than Just Healing

I was driving in my car today, and as usual, I was listening to my Ipod on shuffle.  I am not one for commercials on radio, nor hearing the same song played over and over.  And while I deal with the temporary absence of my daughters, I look for ways to keep us interacting with each other, as well as the having the ability to trigger memories that of course lead to conversation.

With my daughters older now, I do not have many reasons to listen to children’s radio anymore, such as Disney Radio.  But I still have the songs on my Ipod from those years ago when I did listen to them.

The song “Kiss The Girl” from “The Little Mermaid” sung by Disney actor Ashley Tisdale came on.  This was just one of my oldest’s favorites to blast out with her young lungs, especially the “la la la la la” parts of the song.


But this was not the first time that Madison had shown her ability to just pick up a song after hearing it played just once.


At the age of just 18 months, she picked up the chorus of “Since U Been Gone” from Kelly Clarkson.  Okay, so the words were not easy to make out, but when the chorus hit, the sounds came out right on the words, and the pitch was perfect.

Of course, a couple of years later, this ability for Madison to imitate the songs, drew the attention of daycare with her next favorite artist.


Avril Lavigne had a huge hit with the song “Girlfriend”.  It was a very catch tune.  Played constantly.  Very sassy.  But what you heard on the radio and saw on the video was not what you downloaded from ITunes.  In the unedited version, Lavigne drops an “MF” bomb surely never to see the airwaves, but on young influential minds listening to Ipods…

So  anyway, I get a phone call from the daycare saying, “Mr. Edelman, we have to talk to you about Madison.  She is singing a song that is inappropriate for her age.”  Now of course, I am still on either Clarkson or Tisdale, though I knew Madison had a new song she was beginning, and it was Lavigne’s song.  So the instructor told me that it was “Girlfriend” and all I could do from chuckling, I asked, “was it edited or unedited?”  Fortunately, Madison was only hearing and singing the edited version of the song.

The very first time I realized that Madison had an interest in music, I just happened to be looking in my rear view mirror.  She was about 13 months at the time.  Of course, I listen to any genre of music for the most part, but my favorite category is rock.


In the back seat, Madison’s head was “banging” to ACDC’s “Back In Black.”  While Madison may be adopted, she was definitely my daughter.  Never missing the beat, especially with the intro, I knew good things would be coming from her, if we kept giving her musical opportunities.

To be honest, both of my daughters have interest in music.  Madison still likes to sing.  She dabbled a little bit with piano.  Emmalie enjoys singing, flute, and violin.  She too studied piano for a short while.

I really wish that our school systems would recognize the value that music and the arts provide in challenging our students, while at the same time, teaching our children, and helping our children.  It has to be more than just parental direction because let’s face it, our children spend most of their day in school, with the teachers.  And teachers are the ones who know how to use this tool to help make our children not only smarter, but also, well rounded.

Of course, all these years later, Madison has moved on through all the phases of popular singers that kids listen to, and her current favorite is Anna Kendrick with the song “Cups.”


This love of music that both of my daughters have is not just a hobby for them.  It is a lifestyle.  It is not only teaching them, but they know that music helps to heal the people who hurt.  As my oldest daughter sang for my father for the first time, just before he passed.

I miss hearing my daughters sing.  But hearing the song played on my Ipod, which I will not delete ever, helped to bring back such a happy memory I have always kept in my heart.


A Horrible Line Has Been Crossed

I cannot even figure a category to put this post under.

Just when you think you hear or see the most horrible thing a person can do or has done, another piece of scum animal has come out of the woodwork.  My feelings at this moment are ten times worse than the tone I am using right now.

The thing is, we should have seen this behavior coming.  It was a matter of time.  After all, our media goes for huge ratings with the phrase, “the video you are about to see is quite graphic” and then proceeds to show the video of some hideous incident.

But most of now possess that ability to be our own reporter, courtesy of smart phones.

phone video

I mentioned that a tragedy occurred back in my home town of Emmaus over a week ago.  Two little girls, age 11, were crossing the street and were hit by a car.  One died, the other is still fighting for her life.  The story is tragic enough.

But then this dirt bag with a cell phone, starts video taping it.  Now some may want to defend this animal and say, he was in shock.  He was not in shock when he decided to post the damn video on Facebook of both girls lying down in the intersection where they were hit, that just a short time later, one of the girls would die from her injury.  This jerk was filming a personal “snuff” video.

Word got out about this video, and soon, there were over 400,000 views because of everyone sharing it.  Pressure had been put on Facebook to pull the video and ban the user, but Facebook had no problem posting a video of an 11 year old girl dying.  That one post has been deleted, but the other video remains, along with some other posts in regard to the young girls.

This recording and the posting of the video on Facebook was by someone the girls did not even know.  He comes back and video tapes another day a memorial growing, and the young kids sitting around the memorial.  He clearly has been deleting any negative comments posted to his posts, because the only ones left are those asking for prayers.

I am not sharing this animal’s name, nor the video.  You can find it easily enough if you feel the need to watch this video.  But as a father of two girls around the same age, this is definitely one of the most disgusting things a person can do following such a tragedy.  And Facebook protecting this animal’s right to post it makes them just as guilty.

This need to film people, and in this case, two young children in their most tragic state, crosses a major line that can never be crossed back.

Overlooking The Obvious


This is a view very similar to the one that I had this morning.  I made the mistake of running an errand to the post office just to drop a letter in the mail.  Yes, I know it is Memorial Day, and the post offices are closed, but our lobby is open 24 hours.  The mail is not the point.

Yesterday I wrote about the true meaning of Memorial Day.  And on my way back from the post office, I ran into a traffic jam much like the picture.  The “parking lot” went about 3/4 of a mile.  And being a single lane road, this meant I was going to be sitting in traffic a long time, unless…

This is not my first traffic jam that I have been in.  And I have resolved that issue any number of ways, but if the end result has been spending the least amount of time in traffic, then I consider it a victory.

As I approached the stopped vehicles,  I saw what I thought was the origin of the delays.  A funeral home and garden was hosting a Memorial Day tribute/service.  And you could see all the grave markers with the Red, White, and Blue flags.  Of course there were makeshift trailers, tents to provide shade, and you could see lots of lawn chairs set out already for the ceremony.  I was willing to come down from my “traffic jam stress out session” because this was something that I felt was appropriate and understanding.

But as I passed the funeral home, I immediately hit the next wave, not of water, but traffic.  Ah yes, the “true” meaning of Memorial Day to so many, going to the beach and kicking off the Summer season.  When I lived back north, I usually worked this holiday weekend, so I never made the trek to the “shore” on this weekend.  The equivalent to traffic on Memorial Day weekend going to, and coming from the New Jersey shore points, was like going to the mall on Black Friday following Thanksgiving, just something that was never appealing to me.

On other weekends, I often spent hours, trying to travel just 14 miles on interstate 476 just to get to the Commodore Barry Bridge.  From there, it would take just as long to travel the rest of the way to get to the beach resorts.  But fortunately for me, I had two things in my favor today.  I was not going to be waiting two hours, or even fifteen minutes just to move a quarter of a mile.

Being less than a mile away from my home, I was at a traffic signal.  Immediately, a psychology lesson from college kicked in.  My psyche professor taught that we often overlook obvious solutions to common problems, just because we do not think they make sense.  This was the example he gave:

“You are in a left turn lane at  traffic light.  You are car number 15 in the line, and clearly you will not make the light for the next two signals.  But the straight lane (and right turn) is moving briskly with as many as forty cars going through before the change of the signal to red.  Why not go in the straight lane, and either turn right at the corner, and make a uturn, or go straight through the intersection, and turn left in another area and double back?  Will you not save time?”

The answer is “yes.”  It is so obvious.  But in one of the rare moments we actually care about “waste”, many look at this maneuver as wasting gas.  And perhaps it is wasting gas.  But is not sitting in traffic idling also wasting gas.  Psychologically, going the extra distance of making the extra turn just to turn left makes sense too, because at least we keep moving, providing the sense that we are at least getting somewhere.

And so, instead of going straight this morning back to my place, only a 1/2 mile away, which would have taken me 20 minutes to get through (beach traffic was being directed near the entrance of my building), I made a rare left turn, and drove six miles around the water inlets, to come back to the entrance of my building from the other direction.  Ten minutes.

I consider this a win as opposed to sitting in traffic and letting that start my day in an aggravated mood.

In all seriousness, please remember what this day is all about, remembering our fallen heroes.  And of course, as you celebrate the Summer months, have a safe time.

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