Music has a way of tugging at the heart strings and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” has an especially strong pull on mine.

My love of music unfortunately was not translated into any form of talent. I did take piano lessons in my youth but had a hard time learning how to read music. However, I’ve been surrounded by musicians my whole life so I do appreciate and enjoy listening to it. Each one of my sibling’s can play at least two instruments and my mother along with both of my children play the piano. My son, Christopher, loves to perform and can play several instruments, his favorite being the guitar. He not only reads music, but writes his own and lyrics too. So any talent I should have had, he makes up for.

In the year 1991 when Mark was at Western Rehab there was a large gathering room where family and friends could gather to visit. In the corner of this room was a piano. My oldest brother, Mick, with his family would often come to visit on Sunday evenings and play the piano. Other patients liked to gathered there with us to enjoy his playing and the encouragement his music brought. Once his talent was known, patients or staff asked him to play whenever he would come to visit.This entertainment was always a welcomed distraction from the pain and hard work of rehabilitation and the loneliness of not being home. 

My sister, Rosanne and her family put together a few musical programs to perform for us and all other patients who wanted to come to the gathering room. Usually a good crowd was there to be lifted up by the sounds of my brother-in-law, Klint, at the piano, Rosanne, on the cello or flute and their five children age’s fourteen to five, all on violins. All in attendance enjoyed the healing power of music.

Never will I forget one very special song my sister played at the end of one of their programs on her flute, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. She came up close to where Mark and I were sitting. With Mark, just out of a coma, I felt the spirit of the words as her notes touch my soul.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can’t I?

Whenever I hear that song, tears fill my eyes as I’m taken back to that touching moment when music communicated love, hope and encouragement. It reminds me of a very worrisome, dark time, brightened by music and our family’s love. A remarkable moment which made me realize after every bad storm there is the promise of a rainbow.

Enjoy my sister’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” recorded near our Family’s Hill Haven in Parley’s Canyon.