The other night, I heard a live performance of The Beatles tune, ‘Yesterday’. I was 17 years of age in 1964 when I first saw The Beatles perform it on the Ed Sullivan show – the first time on national TV.
Although I’ve heard it many times since, (after all, it is the most recorded song in history), it actually didn’t affect me as much as it did sitting in the audience that night. The darkness of the theatre meant that no one could see my eyes welling up, no matter how hard I tried to resist. A nagging thought of our youngest daughter haunted me. Lately, she’d not been too happy with her dad. Things were said, and probably things were left unsaid.
“Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.”
— The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ (ibid., 2)
When she was just seventeen, I remember one morning, as I was dropping her off at her high school parking lot, she became extremely upset at me for chastising her about not concentrating on her studies. Her eyes flashed in anger, as her fiercely independent spirit compelled her to lash out at me. When I suggested that it was better coming from me, than from some jerk, she said “Some jerk did tell me!” She got out and slammed the door. Almost immediately she turned back to me and, with tears in her eyes and with arms around my neck, she told me she loved me. It was over. We made our peace.
“I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.”2
Now, a beautiful young woman, she’ll be coming home for brunch this Sunday. Maybe things will work out again.
So my advice, especially so close to Valentine’s Day: don’t be like me by not telling your loved ones how much they mean to you … every day. You just never know what might happen tomorrow.
To me, as I get ‘old and grey’, the realization that I need my family more than they need me is a feeling that I can’t shake. Or to quote another great Beatles’ song:
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four? — The Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty Four’
Fred Parry 2011 / fredparry.ca