Twelve-year-old singer-songwriter, known as Melody, like too many girls, has witnessed painful amounts of bullying and unkindness by other girls. Originally, she used her musical and writing talents to defend others who have been bullied. Recently, Melody’s album, Girl Behind the Piano, was released and is receiving many accolades.
One song in particular speaks to the bullying between young women. “Shine Bright,” which she penned, co-produced, and recorded sends a strong message about being an individual and encourages girls to be real and like themselves. The chorus repeats, “cause her over there with the pretty plastic hair, she thinks I’m better in the dark…go ahead and stare, cause I know I’m better in the light.”
As Nancy and I polished off the fries, and I ate the entire hamburger after intending to save half for the next day’s lunch, I had an insight: What if in the not too distant future, Nancy and I were sitting at a table with two men? But only after we fine-tuned our picker to accept nothing but the best. The near tears turned to laughter. We picture-painted our ideal man. Hers: Matthew Hussey. Mine: Darius Rucker. The laughter mixed with joy-filled tears as we imagined what an evening with them that might be like! After I returned home, I downloaded their photos and fused them together in a meme and texted it to Nancy. Digital vision boarding.
This time of year is particularly difficult for me, and as some of my exchanges with my children have proven that it is for them, too. My father passed away eleven years ago. During his wake, to add a little humor, my daughter hung a skeleton with a missing leg off a bowl of Halloween candy which we provided to those who came to pay their respects. Just weeks before he died, Dad has his leg amputated due to an infection that spread from his toe up his extremity. The move was to save his life, but my guess, he gave up hope––what little hope he had left in his soul. Not even the promise of his first great-grandchild could entice him hold on. My daughter had just found out that she was pregnant and shared the new with him as he lay in his hospital bed. As I look around at my life now, watching my children raise their own––four in total––he is missing out on a lot. And so are they.