So it’s the last cut of the year, for the grass. Still using my Walkman I grabbed 3 cassettes, one on wine, one without a label and one with a hand written label with Irish comedy written on it, which I’d just found in my office. I’m not sure where it came from. While cutting I listened to the wine tape, on tasting and cooking with wine and the joy of sharing it with friends. When it was done and I put on the second, which turned out to be Toad to Wet Sprocket. I had forgotten I even had that. I finished the lawn quickly, some parts hadn’t grown much since last time.
“Dad would be happy,” I said as came into the house. He was very proud of his well-kept lawn.
I had a cup of coffee. I checked my facebook and took a call. I went to go back out and put the lawnmower away for the winter. I decided, just before I went out, to check to see what was on the Irish Comedy cassette before it went into the back of a drawer and was again forgotten about.
I put it on. Nothing. Fast forwarded it. Nothing. Fast forwarded it, again. Nothing. I was about to turn it off when I heard a crackle. I didn’t recognize that crackled, it’s been so long since I heard it, but it was the sound of someone pressing the record button.
I heard her start to sing the ‘The Mountains of Mourne’, and then I heard his voice. I can’t really describe in this moment what that moment was like. I needed to be sure I was hearing what I was hearing. I walked into the room and held an ear bud to Mom’s ear.
She smiled slightly, tears came to her eyes.
“Is that you and Dad singing?” I asked.
I put the cassette into the stereo so we could hear it properly.
It was the first time hearing him in 11 years. Their singing filled the room once more.
There was just the one song and then the tape went into an Irish Comedy routine that it was labelled for.
The tape in is a protective case now. Dad’s name added to the label. It won’t be going into the back of a drawer. And as a back-up I recorded it with my camera and am sharing it here, with you.