Dad's Song

When she turned on the radio, she couldn't believe what was playing—surely it was evidence of God's love.

By Nancy Portz, Claverack, New York

As appeared in

I could clearly remember those wonderful childhood days, even as my aging father’s power of memory faded—happy days growing up with my four brothers and three sisters in that big rambling house we loved so much at 244 Robinson Street.

Who could forget those giddy, lively family dinners when all 10 of us would crowd in around the table at dinnertime, times when Mom and Dad were known to spontaneously burst into song? “Moonlight becomes you so…” my dad would croon to Mom, doing his best Bing Crosby impression for us.

During the last five years of his life, Alzheimer’s cruelly stole my dad’s memory, until he could no longer remember any of his eight children, his wife of 52 years, not one of those special moments we had shared around the dining room table at 244 Robinson Street.

When Dad finally passed away, I tried to console myself by imagining him up in heaven, healthy once more, singing and doing his best Crosby imitations.

The whole family gathered at my house right after Dad’s funeral. All of those sad faces, all of those tears, just compounded my own grief.

I wandered into the kitchen to get away from everything for a minute. There was a clock radio sitting out on the counter. Maybe some music will cheer me up, I thought. I flipped on the radio, sure that only a miracle could make me feel even the slightest bit better.

Right then, a song began playing. Not just any song. “Moonlight becomes you so,” Bing Crosby sang.

I raced into the other room to grab my mom, my sisters and brothers. “You have to come in here,” I said. “You’ll never believe what I’m listening to.”

They followed me into the kitchen and we all stood there together, listening. For the first time in weeks, I saw a smile on my mom’s face.

“How often do you hear that Bing Crosby song on the radio?” I asked her.

Mom just shook her head.

Then I looked at the time on the clock face: 2:44 P.M. it read. 244 Robinson Street.

The clock remained that way throughout the entire song—all three minutes of it—before changing.

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