Dancing For My Grateful Dead

Amy Brecount White ’85 | November 5, 2019

Weddings present families with hundreds of choices both momentous and symbolic. When my then-25-year-old son, Ian, asked me what song should play for our mother-son dance at his reception last fall, I stalled. He was hoping to cross an item off his list, but I needed to get that song right.

Once again, I would dance for my dead.

I lost my father to pancreatic cancer 24 years ago, but I couldn’t attend his funeral. On that day, I was nine months pregnant with Ian’s younger brother and living 500 miles away from my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Because Ian had arrived a month early, my careful obstetrician had forbidden me to travel.

After my husband returned from the funeral, I calmly informed my doctor, “I need to have this baby — now.” David arrived healthy and beautiful a week after my father passed away. Those first few months were a consuming chaos of nursing and neediness. When David wasn’t sleeping safely in his crib, I wore him strapped to my chest or, later, bouncing on my hip for safe-keeping. Ian, my energetic 2-year-old, didn’t grasp the fragility of his little brother — or of his mom.

I craved a break from motherhood, so when The Grapes (formerly The Dreadful Grapes) came to Washington, D.C., to perform, I told my husband, “We’re there.” My sister Beth’s brother-in-law was the lead guitarist for this Grateful Dead-inspired Southern rock band, and — dang — how often do you know a rocker?

Read more here. 

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine