Saturday night family dance

A few Saturdays ago, Shonnie and I were in the kitchen cleaning up after our weekly pizza fest and listening to Prairie Home Companion. When the Avett Brothers began to sing “No Hard Feelings,” Shonnie walked over, embraced me, and without exchanging a word, we began to slow dance to the music.

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Will I be ready?
When my feet won’t walk another mile
And my lips give their last kiss goodbye
Will my hands be steady?

Given our almost-thirty-year age difference, these lyrics have a special resonance for Shonnie and me. And as we danced, we both began to quietly weep.

When my body won’t hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Where will I go?
Will the trade winds take me south
Through Georgia grain or tropical rain
Or snow from the heavens?

After a few minutes, Gracelyn walked up and silently signaled that she wanted to join in. So, Shonnie and I stood face-to-face, joined arms, and held Gracelyn (facing upward) between us.

We leisurely danced around the kitchen and as is our custom, Gracelyn looked up at Shonnie and softly said, “I love you, Mama. Do you love me?”

Deeply touched, Shonnie’s tears of sadness turned to tears of joy as she replied, “I love you with all my heart.”

Next Gracelyn looked at me: “I love you Daddy. Do you love me?”

“I love you, love you, love you, sweet girl,” I said.

After a brief pause, Gracelyn said, “Now, you two.”

I looked into Shonnie’s eyes and said, “I love you, Shonnie. Do you love me?”

“Yes, I do love you, Bruce,” Shonnie tenderly replied.

Finally, Shonnie gazed into my eyes and said, “I love you, Bruce. Do you love me?”

As we danced on, I closed the circle: “Yes, I do love you, Shonnie.”

Will I join with the ocean blue
Or run into the savior true
And shake hands laughing
And walk through the night
Straight to the light
Holding the love I’ve known in my life
And no hard feelings

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Showing 2 comments
  • Susan Pastika

    Saturday Night Family Dance is so sweet and beautiful, Bruce, thank you for sharing it.

    • Bruce Mulkey

      Thanks a lot, Susan! I really appreciate your heartfelt comment.