EDITORIAL: Music is more

Music isn’t just words with a beat. It’s family.

TOWAMENCIN – Music has a different meaning for everyone.

My parents divorced when I was in the fifth grade. At first, I was excited that my dad was getting his own apartment with a pool and playground ready for my arrival, not realizing the entire picture. Then, it started to take a toll on my emotions.

It became harder and harder for me to cope with the situation. Not having a father figure available 24/7 isn’t easy. My brothers, Corey and Alex, and I were given the opportunity to see him every other weekend, but as soon as I started to work, I was lucky to see him once a month.

Although I never was able to spend quality time with him, he left me with one thing that reminded me that he would always be there for me. . . music.

When I was younger, 1st-4th grade, my father had this MP3 player. Nothing special, just a simple MP3 player. Whenever we traveled long distances, he used this for entertainment in the car. The songs on the MP3 player weren’t typical for a kid of my age to enjoy, but I have always had a unique taste in music thanks to my dad.

Rap isn’t and will never be my thing. Country isn’t my favorite. Heavy metal shouldn’t even be considered music. Now, rock is a whole different story.

My current playlist is filled with Queen, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, The Cars, etc. I have generated this list of songs over the years. Every Christmas, I ask for iTunes gift cards to build onto my playlist even more, hoping one day to have the content of the MP3 player at the tips of my fingers.

Whenever I listen to these “older” songs, I feel at home, back to the way things were. I wish my parents were still together, I wish things were back to the way they were, I wish we could be one big happy family again, but it is impossible. Music is the one thing I have left that reminds me of the good old long drives to Onset, Massachusetts, our summer vacation destination.

Imagine this. Driving on vacant, windy roads, windows down, and volume turned to the perfect level. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club is currently playing. Your family is smiling, singing along.

“Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon.”

How about this? Same situation, different song.

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.”

I am barely given the chance to experience this anymore, but if I ever want to look back and remember the best of my family trips, all I have to do is put on a song from my playlist. The lyrics and rhythms take me back, allowing me to feel as if nothing has ever happened.

So music is more than just words and beats to me; it’s a portal to the past. A portal that reunites me with my family.