It recently hit me that a true sign of aging is not about actual age, graying hair or straining a muscle in the back while picking up something as simple as a comb. Instead, what hit me is how much hearing the news of a celebrity dying and being a little sad as you recount the memories from youth.
To tell this story, I will have to shine some light on my country roots a little bit. A few weeks ago, when the news of Naomi Judd dying came out, I was saddened.
This news proved I am aging because there was a time when a celebrity died, and my parents and grandparents would react while I kind of sat there wondering what the fuss was all about.
Now, it’s me telling my kids stories of how these people brought fond or not-so-fond memories to my life.
After hearing about the sad way Naomi Judd died, I found myself telling my kids about the fact that my first favorite song, that I could recall, was the Judds’ hit “I Know Where I’m Going.” Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheesy song but I loved it.
The Judds were also my very first cassette tape. Yes, I said cassette tape. I was remembering how the ribbon would get pulled out and I would work to roll it back in with a pencil.
Later, I enjoyed the Judds’ work in songs such as “Grandpa” and “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
I made my kids listen to “Love Can Build a Bridge” in the car after I learned of Naomi Judd’s death, explaining what a lovely song it is and how I always enjoyed listening to it.
As if I needed another example of my age, my children helped that along with the bored looks and, at one point, asking if I could put on the recently-popular song, “Astronaut in the Ocean.”
Naomi Judd is not the first celebrity where I found myself recalling fond moments from childhood and young adulthood, but this was the first time where I realized it is becoming more routine to hear the news of someone passing and being able to recall some childhood story.
While I am always sad to hear the news of someone I grew up watching or listening to passing – I do enjoy taking a moment to pause and remember. Remembering that tape player being rewound over and over again to play my favorite songs. Today, we have the luxury of a quick push of a button or Google search to find the exact song we want at that moment.
When I was younger you had to practice timing to rewind and replay a good song. Believe me, I got good at that over the years before CDs became the thing.
On a sidenote, as I bring this week’s editor’s ramblings to a close, I will say I hope the passing of Naomi Judd continues even more discussion about mental health in our country.
She has always been an advocate for helping people with mental illness. She has always pushed for the medical industry to do more than just give someone some pills and hope they work well enough.
She has always pushed for more studies on the brain, or more attention to what causes depressing, anxiety and stress.
I hope her passing can bring some more attention and help to those who need it before they do what she ended up doing to end the struggles.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.
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