Monday, December 28, 2015

Hiroshima- "Thousand Cranes"

 I have a most bittersweet memory associated with this obscure, Japanese song, "Thousand Cranes", by Hiroshima.

In 1993, I was a first-level contract specialist with the Bureau of Indian Affiars, stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

One Sunday afternoon, after some shopping at a local mall, I came back to my small apartment to find a note taped to my front door. It said "CALL YOUR FAMILY", and it listed my grandmother's phone number.
My grandmother had been in very poor health all my life, to that point: And I fully expected to call home and hear that my poor, devout Christian, grandmother had passed away.

When my Mamaw answered the phone, I was pleasantly shocked to hear her voice again; until she told me that my mother, her daughter, had been found dead in her bed earlier that afternoon, March 21, 1993. The first day of Spring.

I honestly don't remember anything else between hearing that news, and being stopped (LATER) by a Texas Highway Patrolman, for driving 94-mph along I-40.

I told him that I'd just gotten news that my mother, 49, had died.
He asked if I'd been drinking:
"NO", I replied; my tears still streaming.
"Then get on your way, slow down," he advised me.

The other, overwhelming memory of that usually 10-12 hour drive between Albuquerque and Poteau, Oklahoma was this song: "Thousand Cranes", by Hiroshima.
This CD was in the player of my car when I took off, and it played constantly until I reached home,
where my grandmother and I hugged, cried for a thousand minutes, it seemed.

Mamaw died the next summer, in 1994.

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