Years ago I’d made playlists for both of my parents, each with different music that reminded me of them. During dinner on our last night together in Costa Rica, Dad put on his “Dad and Me” playlist. It mostly consists of Steely Dan, the Eagles, Van Morrison, Sam Cooke, etc. But then one song came on and all three of us looked at each other like “uh oh…”
It was “You Belong to Me.” And not one song in the extensive musical library of the world could have been more appropriate or more emotional for the three of us at that moment.
Before I left for my trip, my Dad told me the same thing he’s told me so many other days in my life, but this time with new meaning: “Remember who you are.” As a teenager this used to get under my skin a bit. “How could I forget? You’re always reminding me.” But when you’re on the other side of the world, as far away as you can be from anyone who knows or loves you, it’s easier than you think to forget. So every now and then I have to remind myself: I’m Margaret Henney, Fred and Kathy’s daughter, Matt’s sister. I’m a bulldog and a Lady Dawg, a Hoosier from small-town Indiana, and a Christian. And while these things don’t define me, they are a part of me. And when I’ve lost my way, I can reroute towards any one of them to help me get back on track – keeping in mind not only who I am, but who I want to be. But being with my parents for a whole week was definitely the best reminder I could think of.
This is the Bob Dylan version, which is classic if you can get past his nasally voice. And PLEASE ignore the voiceover part at the end, which has a decidedly sexual flavor to it (cue body shudder). But it really is the best version.