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Have a musical memory that you’d like to share? Throughout the month we will post listener submitted recollections here and share a few on MPBN’s Facebook page. Send your memory to us at music@mpbn.net.CLICK HERE to hear a musical memory aired on Maine Public Radio and Maine Public ClassicalCLICK HERE to learn more about MPBN’s instrument donation projectOur listeners’ favorite music recollections:

Kelli Burton, Waldoboro

Music that Moves Me: "I Can See Clearly Now," by Johnny Nash

My mother had hundreds of record albums when I was growing up in Alabama and one of her favorites was “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash.

I asked her once what made the song so special. Mom was a deeply spiritual person, and she said the song reminded her how pain and anger can blind us to the beauty in the world. But if we let go of the pain, if we turn it over to God, we can see the rainbow that was there before us all along.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

In October 2005, Mom was in a car accident on her way home from work. It was pretty bad and she was flown by life flight to a Hospital in Birmingham where she was in trauma intensive care for 6 weeks. I was living in Ohio at the time with my family and my younger brother, Jeff, lived in Mobile with his family. But we both had jobs that could be done remotely, so we got an apartment near the hospital so we could be close to Mom. I love my little brother but we'd never really had a chance to know each other as adults. During the next six weeks, we spent a lot of time together. As we watched our mother fight to live, my brother and I became best friends.

On November 28, Jeff and I stood on either side of Mom's bed as the numbers on the machines wound down to nothing, a flat line scrolled across the screen, and she died.

Nearly 14 years later, I still sometimes find myself in a dark place when I think about her loss. Not too long ago, I was driving somewhere when “I Can See Clearly Now” came on the radio. Memories came pouring back and I had to pull of the road as the tears flowed. And something occurred to me that I'd never thought of before. Mom was an imperfect human, but she was a perfect mother. She knew long before the rest of us that the injuries she'd sustained in the accident were mortal. She knew she was going to die. She didn't spend those six weeks fighting to live. She fought for the time Jeff and I needed to form the kind of bond that would see us through the pain of losing her. And we did. That bond saw us through those painful weeks and has seen us through more times of sadness, and lifted us up in times of joy. My brother is still one of my best friends.

As I sat on the side of the road, thinking about all this, all the pain I'd held onto for so long began to fade away. I finally found that rainbow I'd been praying for. Mom was right. It had been there all along.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.