True Love                            
    Have you ever focused so hard, on a task at hand, that you almost missed a wonderful blessing? Let me tell you about just such an event.
    Last Thanksgiving, I had all my children home and gathered around our table. I had set a "memory table," using a combination of things  which belonged to our loved ones  who had passed over to heaven. I had Mother's dishes, Grandma Grace's salt and pepper shakers  and gravy bowl, and two pint jars of my sister Judy's home made pickles, served as candle holders.
    We had a warm and loving meal. Our little cabin  was bursting at the seams with children, grand children, and family pets. Our time together was such a blessing. I couldn't imagine anything more perfect, but there was still a wonderful gift, waiting in the wings of heaven.

    My son Jim, had taken some vacation days  and stayed on for a week, to help me work on some music. I had mentioned to him that I would like to make a CD, so he brought  his keyboard, along with an assortment of recording equipment.
    I had a list of perfect songs that I wanted to record. The first day of recording went smoothly, as we worked out the bugs  and made our way through my list. We managed to lay down five songs  and decided to call it a day. We would start fresh in the morning.
    I fell asleep, with thoughts of my next song, running through my head. "If  tomorrow goes as well as today," I thought, "We'll have the CD finished!" Little did I know that my son Jim  had a different thought running through his head.
    The next morning  after breakfast, we headed to the music room. I was shuffled through my list when Jim spoke.
    "Mom, a song came to me last night; it popped into my head and I couldn't get it out."He smiled and continued, "It has some tricky chords, so I'm not sure if we can get it. Would you like to try it?"

    I took a long look at my list, thinking "No, I wouldn't," but I smiled and said, "Oh, what is it?"
    "Do you remember an old song from the fifties called True Love? " He asked.
    My mouth fell open, as I searched for the right words, "Remember . . . Oh yes I remember, and I must say it's not a favorite of mine."
    He laughed, "Oh well, we probably couldn't get it anyway," and then he started playing True Love, on his keyboard. I loved to listen to him play, but as he searched for the chords, my frustration level rose. I wanted only to get back to my list, of "perfect" songs!
    He started to sing the words that he knew. He has a beautiful voice and this song really suited his style. I found myself smiling, then bursting into giggles as I recalled a faded memory of that song.
    "I'm sorry," I explained, "I just remember something about that song. Your Aunt Judy sang that song when your father and I were married. I didn't like the song, I thought it was 'Old Fashioned,' but Judy insisted. She said it was the perfect wedding song, and she sang it beautifully, but I still thought an Elvis song would have been better. (I was sixteen)
    "Oh, you're kidding!"he laughed with me, but continued to play "True Love"on his keyboard.
    "I think Aunt Judy tiptoed through your dreams last night. She's up there looking down on us, and having a good giggle." I pointed to the heavens.

    "Well maybe," he smiled, "I just know I can't get it out of my head. Do you have the words?"
    I could see this song wasn't going away, so I moved to the computer, and soon had two copies of "True Love." My thoughts were still on my perfect song list, and this song  didn't fit in, but I didn't have the heart to say no. What was to follow was exasperating and exhausting! My son worked up an arrangement, in which he wanted me to hum in place of a musical solo.
    The Missouri Mule, which I thought I'd left behind when we retired to Arkansas, came out kicking! " I don't like this song, and I don't want to hum  . . .  anything!" I whined.
    "Just try it," Jim coaxed, "I'd do it, but it's a female thing, trust me."
    And so I hummed, and I sang and I hummed; we spent the whole day, working on that song.
Every time we thought we had it, one of us would drop a word or miss a chord, and my mind was still on my list of perfect songs.

    Then a strange thing happened. As Jim sang the words . . .  I began to listen. "For you and I have a guardian angel, on high with nothing to do, but to give to me and to give to you, love forever true." It was as if I was hearing the song for the first time. As we sang those words together, my heart embraced the message. I can't tell you the emotions that rolled over me. The words poured over me, like a warm hug from heaven. That was the final take . . . it was perfect. As we played back the track, we were both thrilled with the results. We laughed at my stubbornness, and agreed that it would be added to the CD.
    That night in my bed, as I lay thinking back on the day; I remembered all the difficulties we had with that song, and I had to laugh. I could almost hear my sister saying, "You're going to keep singing this song, until you hear what you're supposed to hear!' I did just that. Once my heart opened up, and I received the message of love, that I truly believe was straight from my sister's heart, the struggle was over. We hit every chord, and every word. We taped the perfect song.
    How many times in life, do we get so caught up in the moment, that we fail to see a beautiful gift, just waiting to be opened. I thank God, for giving me the wisdom to receive this beautiful gift of love. And I'm so grateful to my son. Judy  took great pleasure in Jim's music. How fitting that he was the messenger, bringing this priceless memory.
    When we finished the CD, and started thinking about covers and titles, I knew the cover had to have a guardian angel on it, and the title had to be . . . True Love.
                                                                                                            Bobby Smith © Feb: 2003
Music recorded & performed by: Bobby Smith & son Jim Buttrum
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