Bones get tired

I woke up early this morning.

As is my Monday ritual, I grab my phone and open up Spotify.
Music helps me wake up and collect my thoughts.
Every Monday, this app is kind enough to give me a playlist called “Discover Weekly” and so I do. I discover new songs and rediscover some old ones too. I have to say, the algorithm gets me.
It has been a little over a month since I lost a mentor and friend and I still feel a little lost. More than a little lost.
When you lose someone fundamental to your life it can be hard to turn the page. But turn it we must. We must go on.
I know that intellectually; emotionally well that’s a whole other story.
Give it time, I tell myself. It’s still fresh I tell myself.
Today, is also Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
And so I’ll be spending my day reflecting, atoning for my sins and praying that my loved ones are in the book of life.
When I was a kid, I dreaded this day which was spent in a Long Island synagogue listening to prayers in a language I didn’t understand.
Inevitably, it was always a beautiful day, Indian summer we called it back then. I’m not sure that term is politically correct anymore but that’s what we called it.
It was a day off from school and my friends who weren’t Jewish were outside and in my mind’s eye having the best day ever while I chafed in a suit and tie waiting for services to end.
But these days, while far from observant, I appreciate the meaning, beauty and importance of ritual, observance and forgiveness.
And I miss my friend who was not in the “book of life.”
So when I began my day by turning on Spotify in the darkness of my room alone with my thoughts I “discovered” the song “Remembering” by Ashley Campbell. Ashley is Glen Campbell’s talented daughter.
We lost Glen a few years back to the scourge that is Alzheimer’s disease.
That damn disease is so cruel. That damn disease…it steals everything.
The song tells the story of a little girl seeking her father’s protection during a storm and the dad reassuring her that all is well and that she should enjoy the show. And she does.
He teaches her guitar and she plays him “Blackbird” and even though she misses notes he tells her it’s the best version he’s ever heard. And you know he’s telling the truth.
But bones get old. And the song mentions how the man who sings like an angel is slipping away.
“Bones get tired, and they can’t carry all the weightWe can talk until you can’t even remember my nameDaddy, don’t you worry, I’ll do the rememberingDaddy, don’t you worry, I’ll do the remembering.”
Yes, we will do the remembering and the grieving too.
I tried to end this little essay with something upbeat, something hopeful. That’s my nature.
But this morning I’m at a loss. I’ve had a loss and I just want to feel it because it’s real. And something is telling me I just need to sit with this for awhile.
May we all be in the book of life.


  1. Steve Lampel says

    Have a good and positive day of reflection it is good for the soul. Jeff you do and spread a lot of good in this world (especially Delray) and your blog always inspires and moves me each Monday. I am sure you have little to atone for.

  2. Sending love, light and Willie Nelson to get you through.
    Wishing you a blessed Yom Kippur and healing energy in the days ahead.

  3. Jeff, I can feel such sadness in your words! What a tribute to your friend and mentor that you so grieve his passing. What a beautiful friendship you shared! I hope soon that your sadness turns to happy Memory Mondays – and each week brings a fond memory instead of sadness.

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Thanks Stacey. He was so fond of you. I love the concept of happy memory Monday. That’s what I’m going to strive for. Thank you.

  4. Gary Broidis says

    Amen Jeff! Always so poignant and heartfelt. I wish I could have known Carl when he was well but I’m happy to have met and continue having a friendship and working relationship with you who certainly does carry a part of his legacy with you every day.

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