96: I Get Misty

96: I Get Misty

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

I Get Misty

A song will outlive all sermons in the memory.

~Henry Giles

My grandmother loved music and played the piano and the organ, and my mother played the piano as well. But she needed the sheet music for everything she played except for the song “Misty,” which she knew by heart. It was a running joke in our family that every time we visited someone with a piano, at some point, my mother would sit down and laughingly ask, “Anybody wanna hear ‘Misty’?”

My parents were married for forty-three years, taking up the RV lifestyle in their mid-fifties and traveling around the country. They settled in Longview, Texas, and bought a small house there. One night, my mother began to feel ill. She’d been plagued with respiratory problems most of her later life, and my father took her to the hospital. She was admitted for the night. The next morning, as my father was preparing to leave to visit her, the hospital called to tell him that my mother had passed away.

My father was shattered. I booked the next flight to Dallas, rented a car and headed to Longview.

Later that evening, I suggested we go out to dinner, if for no other reason than to get out of the house. He agreed, and off we went.

From the subdivision where my parents lived to the “restaurant row” of Longview was about a ten-minute drive. We ate dinner and tried to make conversation with each other. As we got in the car, I told my father that I wanted to make a stop at a convenience store to grab some diet soda. On the drive back, we began discussing the various things we needed to get done as far as a service, notifying out-of-town relatives, and other arrangements. As we talked and drove, I passed at least five or six different convenience stores, telling myself, “I’ll stop at the next one.”

Finally I came to an intersection that was also the turn-off to get to their subdivision. There was a store there, so I pulled in and got out, realizing that this was my last opportunity to grab some soda.

I opened the door and walked in, and as I did, I heard music coming from a radio behind the counter.

It was Johnny Mathis singing “Misty.”

I froze. And then I smiled, realizing that it was my mother reaching out to me one more time, asking if I wanted to hear “Misty.”

~Greg Moore

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