“Not enough people in this world are happy. “~ Karen Carpenter
I woke up this morning and I could not remember why I was so aware of what today is. It took many hours to finally remember.
Thirty years ago on this day, musician Karen Carpenter died.
The moment it struck me, I burst into tears.
The music of The Carpenters have a very special bond with me. That being that there were two different songs that me and my mother both agreed with and had sang together whenever we would hear it playing on the radio.
One was The Bee Gees song, “How Deep Is Your Love” and the other song was “Top Of The World” by The Carpenters.
As a very small child, I remembered that a few days before her death that my parents had placed an alarm clock radio in my bedroom, which I shared a bunk bed with my brother. It was not your common digital alarm clock as we all know today. In fact, the radio part was only AM radio. And the clock had actual clock hands. We’re talkin’ OLD OLD school!!
The morning after the news had broke out about Karen’s death, the radio station that was fixed on the alarm clock was playing music by The Carpenters.
Yawning and slow moving that morning, I remember hearing “Goodbye To Love” on the radio that very moment when the alarm was triggered, rather than the annoying tone. And then when it was over, the disc jockey made his repetitive announcement of Karen’s sad death.
I fell to the floor and I began to cry.
My mother came running into the bedroom to find out why I was crying and then she heard the news as well. My mother attempting to comfort me in her arms, I could hear her words of comfort rather shaky. Tears were filling her own eyes.
I cried so much that my mother made the decision that she was not going to take me to school that day. But the rest of my siblings did go, if I am remembering correctly. I do recall NOT going though.
My mother and I just spent the rest of the morning listening to the radio as news was coming in about the details of Karen’s death. And then she had to coach me a bit to tell my schoolmates as to why I had not gone to school. Some of the other children believed me, others just didn’t care.
But whenever I hear any music from The Carpenters, I think of Karen and her struggles in her short life. And I also think about my mother who is also departed.
Its been thirty years since Karen died. And it seems like an impossibility. But it is so.
Those memories of singing along with my mother will be something that I will always cherish for the rest of my own life. And I am thankful for Richard and Karen Carpenter for the music that they made so that I could share that with my mother.