Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best is Yet to Come: a post 9/11 sign from Frank Sinatra

Whenever our family moves, it’s tradition that the first song we play once our stereo is set up has some significance. For example, when my husband and I bought our first house, the song we played was, “Little Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp. This is because it was pink. And I suppose I can’t drop this without an explanatory digression. We’d only seen the house once. At night. In our defense, when we drove by the next morning and realized it was pink not tan, we lowered the offering price five-percent. So yes, we bought a little house with pink asphalt siding. Gorgeous.

When we moved into the home we live in now, our first song was, “My Kind of Town (Chicago is)” because buying this house meant we’d made the decision to stay in the city and raise our children here. Moving day was September 7, 2001. The airline pilot and IT guy who worked for a Wall Street bank, stretching fiscally to buy their dream house. What could go wrong?

As Frank Sinatra crooned and my husband and I danced in the living room, our four year-old sons watched. It was a few days after 9/11. A time when I’d been spending most of my waking hours unpacking, all the while wondering if I should just be putting everything back in the boxes because surely, in light of recent events, we’d never be able to stay here. So when we danced our first dance to our first song, I started crying. Because it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

My husband tried to comfort me, saying that at the very least, we could always look back fondly on that one year we lived in a really cool old house. He got the laugh he wanted, but it wasn’t until Frank Sinatra spoke to me that I felt hope. I’m a pretty superstitious person and I love my signs. As we danced and talked, Frank started singing the next song on the CD and miraculously through my tears and our conversation, I heard him:

“Still it’s a real good bet, the best is yet to come.” 

“Oh my God, listen!”

“I’m gonna teach you to fly. We’ve only tasted the wine. We’re gonna drain the cup dry.” Because after all, who doesn’t like a good drinking song when they’re upset?

Yet I knew in my heart this was my sign from the Universe that everything was going to be okay.

“You think you've seen the sun, but you ain't seen it shine.” I kept my job. My husband kept his.

“Wait ‘til you see that sunshine day. You ain’t seen nothing yet.” My novel was published. We adopted a daughter.

“You think you’ve flown before, but baby, you ain’t left the ground.” Ten years later, we’re still living in a really cool old house.

9/11 changed everything for everyone. The last ten years maybe have not been the best they could have been, but they were still very good years. (The CD we’d played was “Sinatra Reprise,” the subtitle of which is “The Very Good Years,” a sign I should have noticed in the first place.) And I know, because Frank told me so, The Best is yet to Come.

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