“The broken rose with laughin’ eyes.” – Def Leppard
There are those times in your life. Those fleeting moments that you want to hold onto forever. You concentrate, you beg, you pray – don’t let me forget this moment. It might be a stunningly beautiful view from a mountaintop 14,000 feet high in Colorado. It could be the setting sun beyond the ocean horizon of your dream beach wedding. It might be your son laughing with childish abandon chasing bubbles around the front yard of your first house. It might even be your 17 year old daughter swaying to the sounds of an 80’s rock icon at a sold out arena concert in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oh for just a few more seconds to savor! Just a few more glimpses of a time that will only live on in memory. Some people call it living in the moment or being in the present. It’ when your awareness and understanding and appreciation come together simultaneously and your heart swells. I like to think of those moments as a mix between awesomeness with a slight dash of heartbreak.
“You’re a mystery, always runnin’ wild. Like a child without a home.”
I think there’s always a little bit of heartbreak to those moments, because they are fleeting and I know that moment is destined to become a fading memory soon enough. But most of all though, I’m thankful for those moments and for the memories to come. I’m appreciative, but still a little sad at the same time.
I surprised my 17 year old daughter with a Monday daddy-daughter date night. I told her to be ready about 2:30 and that I would be home and we were going somewhere. We got in the car at about 3 and as we headed out of town, I cranked up Def Leppard’s iconic “Pour Some Sugar on Me” from the speakers of the car. I told her we were headed to see these guys in Tulsa (about a 90 minute drive) along with Journey at the BOK Center. We were also headed for dinner at our favorite restaurant. She was pumped as we listened to my newly created Spotify playlist cleverly titled “Def Leppard – Journey” along the way.
My wife and I have raised her on all kinds of music. We have listened to everything from Christian artists to rap to country to pop to classical throughout her life, but she loves her some 80’s rock music, and Def Leppard is one of her favorites. When your five year old, strapped into her car seat, is singing “Fa, fa, fa, foolin’!” from the backseat then I think you’re winning at parenting. It may just be a small win, but a win is a win!
Parenting is exhausting. The challenges are different from day to day, year to year. It can be draining and unrewarding and agonizingly frustrating at times, but there are those moments that make all the tough times worth it. The heart softens and the realization of what’s really important in this life surface once again. Love. Health. It’s in those moments that life is truly awe-inspiring and beautiful. And I was lucky enough to get another one of those moments on Monday night in section 108 standing next to one sweet 17 year old who was swaying to the music.
“You’re bringin’ on the heartbreak. Bringin’ on the heartache”
In the land of under-appreciated Def Leppard tunes, I have to put this one in the mix. There’s nothing quite like a concert to make you appreciate some songs you haven’t heard in a while. I never thought too much of this minor DL hit, but man has it come to the forefront of my psyche the past 72 hours since the concert.
I know the ballad is really about a girl (aren’t they all?) who won’t let the singer into her heart, but when this was released originally in 1981 (mixed and re-released again in 1984) I doubt the band had little idea of the heartbreak in store for them. Drummer Rick Allen would lose an arm in a single car high speed automobile accident in 1985, and original lead guitarist and songwriter Steve Clark would lose his life to alcohol poisoning in 1991. Heartbreak and heartache seem to be ingredients for most rock bands.
There are two parts I really like in this song. One is when the guitar takes off at about the 1:07 mark where the song kicks into a different gear. The other is Joe Elliott’s multiple “No(s)!” just after the three minute mark to break up the brief silence in the song.
Only getting as high as #61 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, here is the under-appreciated “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”…
Thanks for reading and may you find one of those moments today – a moment that is awesomely beautiful with just a tinge of heartbreak to it.