Old School

One of the things I treasure most of Dragon’s is his last Spotify playlist. Each one of those songs brings back specific times with Dragon. Dragon would blast “Sail” every night coming back from water polo at Northwood High School. “Hero” reminds me of the movie of the same name that Dragon and I watched together, which made me think of Dragon one day going to college, falling in love, growing up and moving on. I wonder if he saw himself in that movie too? “I’m Yours” was the song we all belted out loud with Justin on our way up to Yosemite, as we drove through the mountains with our windows open. “Demons” by Imagine Dragons is the song Dragon sang and recorded on my iPhone, that I listen to whenever I need Dragon in my ear.

This month, we have our 2nd Annual Benefit Concert. Our main headliner is talented young YouTube star, Travis Atreo. I’m going to ask him to sing Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, another song from Dragon’s playlist. Dragon has a lot of Ed Sheeran on his playlist. Travis does an amazing rendition of this song, and I know Dragon would have loved watching Travis perform. There is something magical about music that bypasses all logical circuits, that takes me straight to my heart, where Dragon still breathes and lives. As those of you that have been reading my blog and taking this journey with me know by now, listening to music is probably when I feel closest to my son. And listening to his music in particular speaks to my soul.

Last August, at the one year anniversary of Dragon’s passing, we went up to his grave in Glendale with a few of his friends. As I do whenever I’m at Forest Lawn, I sat down on the grass at his grave, arranged the flowers we brought, and started playing Dragon’s playlist. As One Republic’s “Secrets” came one, Dragon’s friend, Kayla, a junior in high school now, smiled and said, “Oh I remember this song from junior high. That’s so old school.”

And I thought to myself, that’s what’s going to happen to Dragon’s playlist. New songs will come, and new songs will go, but Dragon’s playlist will be frozen in time, like our idea of Dragon, our concept of him. He’ll always be that almost 15 year old. And the songs that he loved, that I love too? They’ll be old school.

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