I Hope You Dance – Ronan Keating
By any measure, I’ve had a lucky and happy life so far. But in every journey there must be a low point and I arrived at mine in early December 2004, when my father ‘phoned to let me know my Gran had passed away.
2004 had started with real promise as a new romance was in it’s first bloom but the relationship came to an unexpected and rather messy end early in the year and the emotional fallout lingered on for several months. This metaphorical car crash was accompanied by a real one just for emphasis!
There was the sense that parts of my life were coming to a conclusion. My 30’s certainly were as I passed 39 in June but our merry band of Round Tablers also had our last drinking sessions and our pub pool team was running on empty after 10 years as children, work and apathy conspired to reduce numbers below what we could realistically continue with.
Serious illness struck my circle of friends for the first time and perhaps the snakes and ladders of every day life had more snakes than usual.
So the death of my Gran, while neither unexpected nor particularly sad, weighed heavily on me as I drove to work. The CD in the car was playing a compilation and Ronan Keating’s track seemed to capture my mood. I put it on repeat and as I got into it, the tears began to fall. For my Gran. For me. Every time I hear it now, I am transported back to that journey and those feelings.
It’s not a sad track. I call it wistful, those who don’t like Ronan may prefer sentimental. The words offer advice, rather than inspiration. You have the choice to sit it out or dance. I decided that day that I would turn Gran’s death positive, stop sitting it out and start dancing.
The following year, my 40th, was the start of the rest of my life.