It’s A Great Day To Be Alive

Welcome again to Tuesday Tunes! It’s that thing I made up a couple of months ago and then abandoned like my roller blades. (Not a good mode of transportation for someone so clumsy and bruisey.)

My original post was inspired by my friend Addye and her move to Austin. She made it, but she’s struggling now, and I have her in my heart again. Then a song came on and again spoke to my heart and made me want to share it with her and you.

When we lost our son Carter in March of 2006, many songs became connected to him and our grief. He has a song that a friend played at his funeral, “Godspeed” by Radney Foster. I will never forget laying in bed trying not to think of the awful thing that just happened and hearing my husband play this song on his computer in the office. The next day he asked if that was the song we could play at Carter’s funeral.

The day we made arrangements at the funeral home was a bright, sunny spring day. It was still a bit chilly, but the sky was perfect. It was one of those times when the weather was not matching my mood or the circumstances. I felt I deserved rain and gloom for a day at the cemetery picking out a plot for my son. We did the best we could, and we were treated well by the staff. The grandparents graciously picked out the coffin as Michael and I could not do that one task. (We never looked at it nor did we attend the gravesite service to lower it into the ground. It was just the one thing we couldn’t handle.)

After taking care of all the paperwork and decisions, we were hungry and stopped for lunch at Saltgrass Steakhouse. The grandparents were with us, but I felt the need to zone out a bit. It was all just too much. As I was retreating into my own mind, a song came on the restaurant speakers. It was late for lunch, and the restaurant was fairly empty, so it was quiet enough to hear the song well. The song was, “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” by Travis Tritt.

And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?

And suddenly, I knew that to be true. The sun was still shining, not to mock me, but to remind me that these were just hard times that would not last. I felt God’s love and power. I knew that He created the beauty around me, and I believed many more good days would come. That turned out to be the day I came up with calling cloudless days ‘Carter Days’ because Cloudless was the name of the paint I had picked out for his room the day before we found out he had passed.

A ‘Cloudless’ March day in Poland. God creates beautiful things here too.

The beat of the song was good for me too. It’s very simple and allows you to focus on the lyrics. And there’s this strong beat after he says ‘great’ that really makes you want to believe that it is true. For some reason it uplifts me and has me playing air drums instead of turning me sad or introspective as so many other songs connected to this time do.

I hope that my dear friend can find some uplifting tunes today. I’m sure if she starts with some Prince, she’s bound to land on a good one.

Please feel free to share some songs that uplift you on hard days. We did this in our #ppdchat yesterday, and it felt good just talking about them. It never hurts to have a new song to try!


15 thoughts on “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive

  1. What a beautiful post. It must have been hard to write.

    It occurs to me that it’s possible to hear the words “The sun’s still shining” as “The son’s still shining.” I think that would offer me some comfort, too.

    The song I associate with death and life if Amazing Grace. I wrote about playing that song for my grandfather before he died for This I Believe. I played it in his memory at my cousin’s wedding as his request. I played it again at my grandmother’s memorial. And sometimes when I hear Bridge OVer Troubled Water it makes me cry because i know it has been used at so many funurals. Most recently our orchestra performed the Nimrod portion of Elgar’s Enigma Variations in horor of two musicians we lost this summer. It’s challenging to be the one helping perform the music when it also makes you cry.

  2. I wish I’d popped into the #ppdchat yesterday, if you guys were talking about music. That’s so my thing, and music has carried me through some of the hardest times in my life. Thank you for writing this beautiful post and sharing your experience.

  3. When I feel lost, helpless and scared, I listen to Missy Higgins’ “Steer”. It makes me feel like I can do anything.

    “But the search ends here
    Where the night is totally clear
    And your heart is fierce
    So now you finally know
    You control where you go
    You can steer”

  4. There are a lot of songs I love. But I’m not sure if they are uplifting. Clearly I listen to quite a lot of gloomy music as other than pop music I cannot think of a single thing.

    I do love Missy Higgins though, get that itunes gift card out!

  5. Thank you for this post.

    My song that has been on repeat lately is “Ghosts that we knew” by Mumford and sons. Love, love love.

    “So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light…”

    “So promise we will be alright…”

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