Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Long Distance Dedication

All my contemporaries reading here recognized the source of this blog post title right away and were immediately thrown back to their youth. If you are one of them, you were hurtled back to Sunday mornings in the late 70s and early 80s listening to the Top 40 Countdown. This was a time long before there was a Ryan Seacrest. It was reigning era of Casey Kasem.

I listened to the Top 40 Countdown on an AM station, WNOX 990. Transmitting through my clock radio, the Long Distance Dedication undid me every week. Then, teenage angst and unrequited love ruled my heart and mind. The LDD stories of longing and woe boiled down to 30-second homages followed by 3 minutes of early 80s love ballad power chords sent my heart spinning.

The LDDs were generally from the lovelorn to their absent loves. Reasons for the distances varied from military duty to good, old-fashioned,  parental sabotage. Regardless of their reason, the dedicator had a hole in their heart where the dedicatee should be.
While romantic love always got more air time; familial love was represented too from time to time on the LDD.  And not all LDDs were about love lost but of love triumphant too. In those cases, the dedicator had a hole in their heart completely filled by the dedicatee.

I always dreamed of making my own LDD or, even grander, being the target of an LDD. But back then my world was small and there was no long distance to contend with. Everything I knew was within my county lines. Since those days, however, much of who and what are important to me lay miles and miles beyond any local jurisdiciton. I have my close circle around me here but the larger circle expands well past my arms reach.

Long distance being the factor in my life that it is, I feel situated now for my long awaited LDD. Actually if truth be told, my ninety percent of my blog posts could be considered subtle LDDs but this one is outright. It is of the triumphant sort. My niece Anna was diagnosed in August 2011 with AML Leukemia. She has been under treatment and received a stem cell bone marrow transplant in December 2011. Celebrations are in order as Anna is now cancer-free. However, she is now overcoming the side effects of her past treatments and the transplant. It has been a slow and arduous process of struggle and healing throughout which Anna and her parents have remained strong. They are a family of strong faith and have relied solely on that faith when nothing else seemed available to carry them through.

I heard the song, "Faith" by Shawn Mullins this morning. I have heard this song many times before but was never really struck by the lyrics quite like I was this morning. The sentiments of faith and love conjured images of Anna and her parents and their monumental strength these past seven months. My favorite lyrics are these:

Faith, when you're gone
All my demons and my devils
They do me wrong
And Faith, you let your light shine through
Let a ray of hope surround me
Just don't think I can make it without you.

This Long Distance Dedication goes out to Anna and her parents for "keeping their feet on the ground and reaching for the stars".

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