August 16, 2012
"Elvis Presley has died . . . the ‘king’ is gone."
Thirty-five years ago today, these words shocked, and rocked, the world. For many, it was one of those “I remember exactly where I was when I heard” kind of moments. Me? I was in my sister Patty's kitchen in California.
“We need to call Mom,” we both agreed. “Who’s going to be the one to tell her?”
None of us girls were ever serious Elvis fans, but we knew Mom was. We knew she would grieve the loss of the man who had shown her kindness a decade earlier--the one who, in that glittery town of Las Vegas, was the star who shone brighter in her eyes when he humbly took the time to encourage his orchestra’s harpist. [see “What Mom and Elvis Taught Me.”]
Unlike Mom, I never decorated my guest room in Early Elvis, nor did my face light up when someone said his name.
But a funny thing happened on my way to comfort a fussy grandbaby one day last year. I had a paradigm shift. In my desperate attempts at baby-calming, I finally resorted to technology.
Straining to reach my nearby laptop I hurriedly tapped some keys with one hand, while trying to settle him down with the other. The first thing to pop up was a You Tube of my favorite hymn, “In the Garden,” crooned by--you guessed it--Elvis Presley. I hit Play.
“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses . . . .’
Ahh, the deep soothing voice, the melodic strains of that beloved hymn began to transform the atmosphere in that little room. Almost instantly, the baby stopped crying. He listened. He smiled. He even managed a a gurgle and a goo here and there.
Surely this is coincidence, I surmised. So I tried it the next time he was fussy. And the next. And the next. Each time, the same reaction. Instant calm.
Strangely, no other song, no other artist, had the same effect on this adorable little guy. I captured a short video of this phenomenon on my iPhone, where it remains to this day, calming a fussy Gramma now and then too.
Elvis. In the Garden. Only a click away.
Through the ears of my infant grandson, Elvis found a way into a corner of my heart. Mom would’ve liked that.
“And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And the joys we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” -In the Garden lyrics
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