Once there was a way to get back home

The Beatles and I have some history. I fell in love with Paul McCartney in 1964, I fell in love with John Lennon shortly after when “In His Own Write” was published. McCartney was my crush because he was so damn handsome but had that bad boy glimmer in his eye. How much that foretold I was not to learn for 30 years. John Lennon wrote irreverent and witty little verses accompanied by squiggly drawings that endeared him to me forever. Bad boys and quirky poems would always make me smile.

I grew up to travel quite extensively for a time until marriage, children and widowhood slowed me down then directed my ventures to weeks at the shore or in Lake Placid and Disney World. The children were the focus of my travels, even when I attended the annual labor relations conferences in Ottawa and Washington, DC. Then finances and college calendars called a halt to most of our adventures. Finally, my son announced that save for our annual Thanksgiving gathering with the family in Lake Placid, he would not be going on vacation with his mom again.

My daughter suffered no such qualms: a free room and meals, often with airfare, at a really nice hotel, chilling with Mom sounded pretty good to her slim grad student wallet and her over-worked brain.

We headed to Seattle in 2003 for just such a conference. Staying in the famous Edgewater Hotel right on the glistening waters of Elliott Bay, we shared a junior suite that looked out on docking cruise ships and the daily ferries. The cries of gulls and the blasts of fog horns startled us from sleep, the lapping of waves against the pier was a gentle lullaby at night.

And then of course there were the Beatles.

They had stayed at the Edgewater in 1964. No other hotel would take them, but the newly built Edgewater suffered no qualms. As a result of the famous photograph of the Lads from Liverpool fishing from the window of their suite, many have made their way to the Edgewater over the years to touch a piece of history. All we could afford, apart from our room, was a yellow rubber ducky, wearing a jaunty sailor’s hat emblazoned with an “E”.

While we shared rooms again at my labor relations conferences and then my conferences for romance writes, we did not reside in any hotel that had also housed the Beatles again until recently. The tables were turned because now my daughter was attending a conference – International Neuropsychology Society, no less –  and I was invited to share a room with her. I gladly accepted because I had not seen her in almost two months and the four-drive to Montreal from my home near Saratoga Springs beat the hell out of the 18-hour drive to her internship site in Memphis! And she was staying at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

I arrived while she was still in a seminar and busied myself by reading the hotel brochure. I was reminded that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had staged one of their famous “bed-ins” for peace in a suite at the Queen Elizabeth in 1969. In fact, it was there that “Give Peace A Chance” had been written and recorded. Another Beatles hotel!

We dined in the Montrealier Restaurant, swam in the Queen’s swimming pool and lunched in the underground during my brief 24 hours with my daughter. Not too much sight-seeing was possible but that was fine with us. We spent the morning of my departure day cuddled under the down comforter, her head on my shoulder while I ran my fingers through her hair. We spoke of family and friends, the future and the past, triumphs and tragedies. We shared some secrets, some giggles and a few tears. My beautiful and brilliant, almost-a-psychologist daughter was still my baby girl. My woman-child who I could still comfort, still mother, still protect for a little longer.

Golden slumbers,
Fill your eyes
Smiles await you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling
Do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby.

Once there was a way
To get back homeward

Once there was a way
To get back home

The Beatles and I were still a part of her life.


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