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“How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” - Jane Swan

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit and never dies.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I have had a love affair with music as long as I can remember. From the earliest of ages, I remember having music all around me. I was exposed first to a marriage of 8 tracks and records. My parents bought me a small record player when I was young, and I would take my mother's old 45's and play them. One of the songs that stood out is “96 Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians. My mother would say “Your grandfather liked this song.” Maybe that's why it stands out for me because I never “met” him but only as a baby. I was born in June, and he died in September of the same year.

I remember the countless cassette singles that I would buy. That was the big thing back then. Stick your cassettes inside your Walkman, and you were ready to go. You either bought the singles, which were two songs per cassette, or you bought the whole album. I still remember the first album I ever got. It was “Spellbound” by Paula Abdul. It had my favorite song at the time “Rush, Rush,” and I constantly played that CD over and over. That was when CD's first came out, and it was all the rage to have them. It was also a thing to have a portable CD player with headphones. CD's would be a constant for years, but you could see how we obtained music changing. My middle school and high school days were consumed by me and everyone my age with a surprising

computer application called Napster.

At the time, none of even realized that it wasn't the correct thing to do to obtain music. But, music lovers all around were excited to just get their hands on their favorite tunes. We could just “borrow” them from one another on this platform, and continue to get the joy music was bringing us. But as we know now, that wasn't the correct thing to do. Napster does still exist, but not in the way my generation remembers it. One of the biggest music changers was the birth of Apple and iTunes. You could digitally download music to iPod's. They would hold all of your music in one tiny box. You could carry your whole music collection anywhere you wanted to. You just needed to keep it charged, and make sure you had your ear buds to listen. It was so revolutionary for the time. Once again, music was available at our fingertips, and so conveniently. This love affair is responsible from two people. My father, who loved his country music, and his George Jones. The other, and most impact-fully, my mother. I really owe my love of music to my mother. I cannot remember ever coming down the stairs to eat breakfast before school, and she didn't have the radio on. Or picking me up from school and mot having the radio on in the car. She constantly had music on. I had many, many soundtracks to my life, thanks to her. My concert resume with my mother extends bounds only some would love to obtain.

I have seen my top three concert bucket list with my mother which was Alanis Morisette (twice!), Neil Diamond, and the Rolling Stones. I have also seen Diana Ross, Michael Bolton, Maroon 5, George Jones, Panic at the Disco, Weezer, Kelley Clarkson, and so much more. They are such wonderful memories. The beauty of that is knowing that every time I hear their songs, I also remember that I saw them with Mom. The future of music listening for me just got even better. I know I am late to the party, but I recently signed up to Apple Music, which includes all of their collection, at a few swipes of the fingertips or a simple “Hey Siri!” I am on a trial run until August, but I think I am most likely going to keep it. It's magic. Music has gotten me through so many things. Music has lifted, comforted, explained, and has always been there. I am so very thankful for music in my life. Thank you Mom, for giving me a gift that will last a lifetime. Your love of music continues to fill me with love that you keep on instilling with me always. Happy Mothers Day! I love you and truly miss you every single day.

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