“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~ From the television show The Wonder Years
Was there a particular song that was always sung to you when you were a child or a fond memory from your childhood that had always been a part of your heart since you were young?
I have such a song like that, a song that was sung to me all the time by my grandfather called, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” which was a song by a gentleman named BJ Thomas for the hit Movie, “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.” Grandpa sang this song when it was cloudy, when it was raining but I remember him singing it the most when it was a beautiful day, with the blue sky and sun making their daily debut, beaming directly down upon us.
It didn’t have to be raining in order for grandpa to sing this song to my brother Steve and me. Grandpa always managed to sing it when we were ready to throw some food on the grill. Perhaps, it was his grilling song.
“He who sings frightens away his ills.” ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Grandpa was a carpenter by trade. He had built himself an outdoor barbeque pit with his own two hands, stone by stone, which rested nicely underneath the large oak tree by the picnic table, overlooking his vegetable garden.
Grandpa would make his way outside with his whole chickens that were ready to be placed on the rotisseries. As he began to sing the song, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head, he would skip and twirl around, as if was doing a slow waltz with the hens that lay upon the plate in front of him. Of course, he only sang the first line, which he repeated several times, as he didn’t know the rest of the lyrics of the song. With his construction boots that were always loose and untied, I can see grandpa now, as he would kick up the dust and gravel that lay silent beneath his boots in the driveway, dancing his way over to the grill.
While grandpa prepared the chickens for the grill, he would send Steve and me off down the road, to an adjacent farm that housed a tall hickory tree. There, we would snap a few branches off as well as collect them from the ground, always bringing grandpa back more than what he had asked for. Grandpa tossed the hickory branches into the pit to help flavor the chickens. The smell that came from the grill when the hickory hit the hot coals, as grandpa sang his one-liner song, was something truly memorable.
“Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.” ~Author Unknown
After spending the evening outside, eating and catching a cool after dinner breeze in the yard, it would be time to get ready for bed. Heading into the house, Steve and I would wash our faces, brush our teeth and race to get our pajamas to see who would be the first to kiss our grandparents goodnight.
By now, grandma and grandpa were sitting in the living room, relaxing for the remainder of the evening while watching the nightly news. I kiss each of them goodnight, only to feel the imprint of their kisses on my lips. Both unique in their own way, with granny’s wet, plump and strong, while grandpas are light, with just enough pucker.
Remembering the song that grandpa use to sing to me all the time, their precious kisses, as well as honoring grandpa’s name, Ray, along with a side order of artistic twists, this is how I created the name Raynedrop Kysses. Each kiss displayed reflects one for each of us… grandpa’s, granny’s and myself.
Just as we hold our loved one’s hand or admire the sweet smile of a child, we never forget the sensation of how their hand feels resting within your own or how the smile of a baby brightens our hearts. I feel the same when I remember my grandparents’ good night kisses, loving and caring, both kisses leaving a lasting impression.
“Twas not my lips you kissed but my soul.” ~Judy Garland