Last night Jimmy Fallon had Billy Joel on The Tonight Show and it made me cry.
That’s what happens when you lose someone… most of the time you go about life thinking of them as a distant memory. But sometimes something triggers you. Last night, it was Jimmy and Billy singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
There are very few times I cry because I’m stricken with grief. That phase is mostly over… after ten years, you’ve cried most of your grief tears. So last night I didn’t cry out of grief… I cried happy tears. Sentimental ones. Nostalgic ones. Here’s why…
When I was little, my dad used to sing me to sleep. He had a beautiful voice, played the acoustic guitar and loved music more than anyone I know. I loved the Lion King and my dad loved Billy Joel so “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was one of his regulars. It’s a song that still calms me down to this day and I can’t help but think of him singing it to me when I hear it. We also all loved comedy, and Jimmy Fallon was definitely a family favorite.
When I was a little older, my dad started working for a technology company and was really into any new piece of technology. He was an early adapter, almost to an annoying extent, and had an opinion on everything. My dad was a DJ so he was really into music technology and got unbelievably excited each time something was released that changed everything. We were the first family that I knew who had a computer that burnt CD’s and I vividly remember my dad telling me that one day DJing would be done by a laptop alone. I didn’t believe him.
With all that said, my dad would have loved iPads. He would love the app Jimmy used. He would love The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. He would be floored by how all of that came together, especially using that song. He would have told us all about how great it is to have generations bond over music. I know that I would have grown extremely tired of the video because he would go on and on and on about how incredible technology is these days. How it has changed the music industry forever. Then he would probably download the app and make an entire playlist of his own doo-wop songs to give out as stocking stuffers (he was really into making funny Christmas song mixes).
So I cried last night… and teared up when I watched the video again this morning. Not a sad cry… a happy and nostalgic one. I wished that my dad could still be here to experience the great music, technology and comedy that we have today. That’s what happens when you lose someone. After awhile, you’re done crying about the fact you miss them in your life. You realize it’s selfish. But every now and again, when you experience something that they would have really loved, you cry that they’re not here to experience it… but are so grateful that they taught you enough so that you’re able to fully appreciate it for them. And that’s okay.