May is motherhood memoir month

Sentimental Lady (May the fourth be with you)

Sentimental Lady (May the fourth be with you) by Sara Hardy, guest writer

Music has the power to bring us back to any moment in time from the past. It’s like a time capsule that can be opened by a few simple notes.

I learned this from a book I read years ago titled: This Is Your Brain On Music.
There was a song that came out in 1977 called “Sentimental Lady” that reminds me of my mom like no other. That was also the year my parents separated.

When I think back on 1977, I mainly remember the debut of a little movie called “Star Wars.” I first saw it in Fresno, California with my maternal cousins and we thought it was the coolest movie we’d ever seen. I also remember a few of the popular songs on the radio. One of those songs was “Sentimental Lady” by Bob Welch. It wasn’t my favorite song by him (I like “Precious Love” a bit more,) but it was a nice tune. What I remember was hearing it on the radio while my mom drove our car around town.

My mom listened to popular music back then. Like many of us, she liked Fleetwood Mac, and I remember her asking to borrow my cassette tape of “Rumours.” In my brief research on Bob Welch, I discovered he was an early member of Fleetwood Mac. When I look at the album cover, “French Kiss,” which has “Sentimental Lady,” I see a flamboyant man with shades and a woman with a high slit suggestively licking the side of his face. The thought that comes to my mind is “Eww, skanky.” Fortunately, I was unaware of the album cover back then and could just focus on the music.

When I hear that song today I immediately think of my mom singing along with her endearing, but off-key voice. I think she was, and maybe still is, a little tone deaf. My sister and I would cringe slightly, but I think we both agree that hearing that song today brings back some good times.

“You are here and warm, but I could look away and you’d be gone…”

As an adult now, I appreciate how well my mom handled challenges. I can’t imagine going through a divorce (it was also hard for my dad and I maintain a good relationship with him as well.) But I’m glad something as simple as a song on the radio might have given her temporary pause from the stress of becoming a single mom.

Prompt: Is there a song that brings to mind your mother? Did she sing the song to you, or was it a song on the radio? Write one memory that song brings back.

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