Morning Musings & Thoughts for Friday, October 16, 2020: Memories, Regrets, and Tchaikovsky

The resting place for both my parents. Photo Credit; Isabella Oliva at

Good morning, Dear Reader. Today is Friday, October 16, 2020, and the weather in my part of New Hometown, Florida is not too bad, considering that it has been hot and muggy lately. Presently the temperature outside is 72˚F (23˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the northeast at 3 MPH (5 KM/H) and humidity at 91%, the heat index is 72˚F (23˚C). The high for today is expected to reach 89˚F (32˚C), and we can expect mostly cloudy conditions throughout the day. Tonight, the cloudiness will continue, and the low temperature is expected to be 70˚F (21˚C).

The author and his mom during the last Christmas season before her health declined rapidly.

Well, tomorrow – Saturday, October 17, 2020 – is my late mother’s 92nd birthday. It’s the sixth recurrence of the occasion since she died on July 19, 2015, and the loss and sorrow are still as sharp and painful to me as they were five years ago. Perhaps even more, partly because I’m going through yet another rough patch in my romantic life, but mostly because I am too far away from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami to visit my mother’s ashes on or after her birthday.

I’m not a religious person, so I don’t think my mother is looking down on me from Heaven or the afterlife with any resentment because I’ve only gone once to see her final resting place. But when the original plan was to repair/renovate my inherited townhouse, I had hoped to go to “visit” Mom at least twice a year on the day after her birthday and the day after Mother’s Day.

Map showing the location of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery near Doral, FL.

Why those two “days after”?

Because I know, more or less, how my half-sister thinks, and because those two dates, as well as the anniversary of Mom’s death, are “red-letter-days” – so to speak – I am 99.9% sure that Vicky would show up at the building where Mom’s urn rests to pay her respects. If I’d stayed in Miami – like Mom had wanted me to – I would be assiduously avoiding even a chance encounter with my nemesis. After all, I’m where I am now mostly because of the enmity between Vicky and me. If we had had a less toxic blend of sibling rivalry, and if Vicky did not have the Donald Trump-style personality that she possesses, we’d probably be getting along and even helping each other cope with our mother’s absence.

If. If. Such a tiny word, but so ponderously heavy with possibilities…and regret, as well.

As I sit here, thinking of my mom, paths not taken, and the weight of the past on my shoulders, I’m listening to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (“Pathétique”) on my Amazon Music app. I used to have this, Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, on CD. In fact, I owned two CDs with the same program (The “Pathétique” symphony and the “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture”). My original album, which I bought in Bogota during my last trip there to visit family for the 1993 Christmas holidays, was stolen from my house shortly after Mom died – either by Vicky or someone acting under her guidance.

I replaced that album within a couple of days, but I must have been careless the last time I listened to it, because when I tried to listen to the “Pathétique” last weekend, the disc wasn’t secured in its jewel box and it got scratched, badly, when I opened the jewel box lid. Again, I ordered a replacement that is due to arrive on Sunday but, if the tracking info on Amazon is accurate, might be delivered today.

I don’t know why I like Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 so much. Maybe it’s because its Russian title, Патетическая (Pateticheskaya), means “passionate” or “emotional.” I heard it for the first time when I took Prof. Jay Brown’s Music Appreciation course back in 1987; not the entire work, but the opening movement. I was literally so moved to tears that I had to blink fast to clear my eyes and stop myself from crying; I didn’t want my fellow students – or the professor – to think I had gone batshit crazy. It still has that effect on me 33 years later, and I tend to listen to it in times of extreme stress or sadness.[1]

I don’t know what my plans for today are beyond this blog post. I need to shower and change into my street clothes; now that I have my walking shoes and the days are not “Africa hot” I should be going out for walks a bit more than I have been.

I also should start doing some prep work on my NaNoWriMo novel, but that’s easier said than done. I don’t have any story ideas floating in my head at the moment, and I have no motivation to come up with one at the moment.

The most that I can promise is another blog post here on A Certain Point of View,Too, although I have no idea what category it is going to fall into.

So, Dear Reader, that’s all I have to say for the moment. I’m going to get ready to tackle the rest of this mid-October Friday, so I’ll see you later.

[1] I listened to this in my townhouse’s dining room – away from Mom’s bedroom and from my half-sister and her posse of supporters – as my mother made her last journey to the Undiscovered Country. Maybe that’s why my original CD of the Патетическая (Pateticheskaya) was stolen?

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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