Now that I have been working more I am making my way into the depths of my music catalog. Past the regular favorite playlist and onto the hidden treasures that are buried deep. My, oh my, the gems I have found. Last Friday I was wrapping up for the day when I heard the faint picking of that guitar I instantly knew.
This song has deep roots in my life. You see, when I was born my mother envisioned bringing home a sweet, perfect, sleeping little baby. She got the complete opposite. I have heard tales of how I never, ever slept, screamed for hours, and would actually swing my little arms and beat my mother. (In my defense, this was before women knew that what they ate/drank went directly to their babies when they nursed them. My poor, stressed out mother guzzled Mountain Dew all day long.) So there we were, me screaming my lungs out and my mother trying everything she could to get me to sleep.
One of those exhausting days we were at her mother's house. Mamaw Mac gently suggested over my screams that music might help. She put on a record and skipped the needle to the one song she knew would be perfect. As soon as I heard that honey-soaked voice I stopped crying. My mom looked up at her mom with wide eyes. It was working! Thank you Lord!
My eyes slipped closed as my mother danced me around the room. All in the world was right and beautiful as Kenny's voice rang out. Slowly the song wound back down and stopped. My little brown eyes snapped back open, and I began to scream again.
Wouldn't you know it..... the one and only thing that would work for my sleepy, Mountain Dew-cracked-out mind was The Gambler.
As long as I could hear that song, I would quietly listen and sleep. Mamaw Mac would sit by the record player and restart the song over and over again. Today the record actually has a faded ring right where The Gambler began and ended.
Bless those two sweet women for all of those hours.
"You gotta know when to hold em,
know when to fold em,
know when to walk away,
know when to run."
How true is that in life? To know what and whom is really, truly important? To not hang on too long to ideas that just aren't meant to be your life? With people coming and going as we muddle through this world.....you gotta know down deep which ones to hold, fold on, walk away from, or full on run for the hills. (Yes, I have ran. At least once. Maybe twice.)
Then, if that isn't enough Kenny hits us with this lyrical jewel:
"Every Gambler knows that the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. Cause every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser, and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."
Ok, so the die in your sleep part is a little morbid, but I love this take on life. No one is dealt a perfect hand in this ole' world. Some try awfully hard to make it look like they have been, but it's all smoke and mirrors. We all have things that are hard. Just because I smile and choose to not talk about my tough stuff all of the time doesn't mean I live this perfect life full of only rainbows and sunshine. I've had some bad cards in my hand too.
Now, I know there are people that have been through or going through things that I cannot even begin to understand. I know that hurts and hard times have different degrees and shouldn't be compared. I get that. My point is you decide how it will affect you. Not your friends, not what's in your past, not what other people think.....you. You can choose to focus on the negative, or you can see past it to the positive in your life. (I promise you, there has to be something!) Your choices and thoughts decide if the hand you're dealt is a winner or a loser.
And my goodness, I can't help but to think these rainbows and sunshine in mine are hard to beat. (wink, wink!)