The Chords That Bind My Memories

The Chords That Bind My Memories

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I think I was born singing. At least that’s what my mother always said.  Although I didn’t grow up to be a famous vocalist or musician, song has been an important part of my life, a part of me I cannot deny. Perhaps why, though now in my seventh decade, I still sing whenever I can, in those rare moments I’m by myself.     And of course, music brings to mind the best memories of many loved ones now gone to Glory.

One of my earliest memories is singing with my father who played the guitar for me. Until later in life, I never understood the love packaged between the chords.

          Through all the spats and sputters of their 63-year marriage, Mother harmonized with Dad, maybe what kept them together during the tumults.   In church circles, their most requested song was “Whispering Hope,”

In family and social circles “Quicksilver” became their trademark.

I think singing was also my greatest connection to family. Mother and I never argued after dinner, too busy singing while we washed dishes.

I cannot think of my grandmother without seeing her seated on a piano bench. Toward the end of her life, Alzheimer’s ravaged her memory. She might forget names, but she never forgot how to play. She’d entertain both staff and other residents with the old hymns of the faith.

My grandparents were instrumental in our family’s journey into Christianity. My grandfather, a hard-living man, became saved in middle age. I remember with absolute clarity the day my Grandmother took me to an old-fashioned camp meeting. How I loved the singing! When the invitation was given, without hesitation, I knelt at an altar. It would be several more years before our family began attending church. But love of God and singing hymns had been planted and would bloom a few years later.

Holidays, birthdays, and sometimes a simple Sunday dinner involved the gathering of relatives, music our dessert along with Mom’s lemon meringue pie. Grandma and my father’s youngest brother took turns playing the piano, Dad on the guitar and my brother playing the ukulele. Mom and I added our voices to the chorus.

My grandfather, who couldn’t carry a tune, loved to be our audience, his favorite, “The Old Rugged Cross.”  Even today, when I hear this song, I see Grandpa slapping his knee and smiling as the family sang together in four-part harmony.

After college, my trips home were sparse. I missed the way music filled the rafters of my parents’ home. I married, had children, and remained active in the music ministry program of any church I attended. I am grateful for the heritage of music and the song God placed in my heart, chords of faith intertwined with an imperfect family that loved God perfectly.

My husband proposed to me while a musician sang John Denver’s, “Lady, My Sweet Lady,” the song I would choose for my walk down the aisle. We chose “Amazing Grace”  as we took communion.  When I hear these songs, I am reminded of the gift of love we found in each other, a love that has survived many tests against our union.

As I near the last lap of my life, I ask myself what my heritage song might be. Without a doubt, I know I want the hymn, I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy, sung at my funeral.

I look forward to a Great Day when my voice will join those I loved who have gone before and those I love still in eternal song.

About Linda Wood Rondeau

Award-winning author Linda Wood Rondeau writes blended contemporary fiction that demonstrates, once surrendered to God, our worst past often becomes our best future. Retired from her long career in human services, she enjoys being able to play golf year around. Readers may visit her website and blog, called Snark and Sensibility.


  1. Enjoyed your post and looking at the pictures – love looking at old photos. I’m like your granddad, I can’t carry a tune but I love singing and sing loudly as I sing unto the Lord. Barb Carter

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