The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older.

This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.”

Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’s advice, deeply resonated with me.

He said: ‘One day you’ll leave this world behind.

So live a life you will remember.’

My father told me when I was just a child

‘These are the nights that never die.’

– The Nights

Every parent has their own perceptions of the important things to impart to their child.

One of my dearest friends gifts T with a book for every birthday. Her latest gift is Oliver Jeffers’ “Here We Are: Notes for Living On Planet Earth,” a book the Irish artist wrote detailing what he felt his newborn child needed to know.

Growing up, I always got the impression from my parents that I needed a good education and a well-paying job to be successful.

My mom always hoped one of her kids would become a doctor and has transferred that hope to T, even after I’ve reminded her that while we won’t limit him, his prognosis will make school-based learning challenging.

My parents weren’t wrong that working hard in school and life is important, but I’ve learned to use other metrics of success.

First and foremost, happiness = true success.

From that flows the values and hope that I would like to impart to T:

  • Work ethic and enjoyment over status
  • Life experiences over material things
  • Comfort, health and kindness over wealth
  • Quality over quantity of relationships
  • Journey and process over destination
  • You are never alone in this world
  • Daddy and Papa are always here for you
  • Define for yourself what happiness means to you – then work and fight for it

In my prayers, I often ask for T to live a life with happiness, good health, self sufficiency, rewarding lasting relationships, and the ability to contribute positively to the world and to himself.

Whatever that looks like for him, I’m open to all possibilities.

One day my father, he told me

‘Son, don’t let it slip away.’

He took me in his arms, I heard him say

‘When you get older

Your wild heart will live for younger days

Think of me if ever you’re afraid.’

– The Nights

On Saturday, we had a rough start to the day. The smallest things – getting ready to go for a walk, practicing reading – felt like a battle.

Feeling frustrated, I left him in the hubby’s care and went to the gym to let off steam.

Later at night, I was lying in bed reading the news, when T came in to snuggle and asked if we could look at photos on my phone.

We journeyed back to our first camping trip, a video of him going down a set of stairs for the first time, to a video of him cliff jumping for the first time at Killbear last summer.

After T went to bed, I scrolled through Instagram and came across a travel video that was scored with Avicii’s song.

The song struck such a chord, after T and my walk down memory lane moments earlier.

I imagined that it was T singing those words – and living his best life – and felt a tear or two fall down my face.

When thunder clouds start pouring down

Light a fire they can’t put out

Carve your name into those shining stars

He said: ‘Go venture far beyond the shores

Don’t forsake this life of yours

I’ll guide you home, no matter where you are.’

– The Nights

21 thoughts on “The Nights That Never Die

    1. Thank you, Diane. I always appreciate the kind words. I don’t feel it on many days but I’m glad it’s how it is felt by those who read such as yourself! 😊

  1. Love every bit of this post. These are truly whats precious and important. Same here, I think being happy and being yourself is very important. Also my son is generation Z, they think and see the world different. Happiness and purpose to them are important. Material things are more secondary. They are concerned more with their environment unlike the older generations. Connections matters to them. Quality Time matters to them as well. I learned a lot from my son, and Fatherhood became like a two way street. I think it’s important that our kids are comfortable to express themselves to their parents and that they can see them as trusted friends. Our kids world will be more challenging . As predicted, anyone below 40 will experience more climate change effects which really saddens me. Take care.

    1. That’s the one thing I’m inspired by with the new generation. Different metrics of success and a greater appreciate for the planet and social justice. Your son and his generation will save this world! 😊

    1. It really is! 😊 I’ve also been listening to the new theme from the upcoming horror movie Halloween Kills a lot, the song where Michael Myers stalks his victims. So it’s all about balance. 😆

  2. You have such wonderful values and I love that you try your best to impart those on T. I completely agree with you about how happiness is true success. P.S. The Nights is such a catchy song!

    1. Thanks Linda! I hope we impart the best of values but definitely hard on some of the more challenging moments. One day and one moment at a night! 😊 And it is a great song indeed. Perfect for outdoor adventurers like you and K, too!

      1. For sure. It’s good to take it one day and moment at a time. And yes, I’ll have to add this song to our road trip playlist. I’ve been doing some research on things to do and see in Atlantic Canada.

      2. Here are the main attractions so far: Bay of Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands, Hopewell Rocks, Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and lots of lighthouses. Any recommendations and suggestions are most welcome 🙂

      3. You got most of the good ones: the Cabot Trail, of course, is part of your lovely drive! PEI is close by so I suggest tacking that on if you have time. St Andrew by the Sea in New Brunswick is great and if you want to splurge, a night stay at the Algonquin is cool. If you’re spending part of your day on Halifax, just an hour from Peggy’s Cove, their central library building is quite lovely. Have a great time. It’ll be here before you know it!

      4. Yes we did. It’s a huge industry there. With the pandemic, I’m not sure you’ll see as many tourists from Japan but they are wild about Anne. Cavendish is also supposed to be nice. And the red sand in PEI is lovely.

      5. I had no idea that Anne of Green Gables was so popular outside of Canada! I’ve heard that PEI has a lot beautiful beaches. I’m curious to see all the red sand now.

  3. Wow, I love this post. I’d never heard of that song before and look forward to hearing it. What a beautiful reminder of the big picture and I think with those values, there is a lot of happiness ahead for T — and for you all!! Great post – thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Wynne! I tend to get inspiration from poppy music. 😆 But inspiration can come from all places! 💕 It’s a wonderful timely reminder for sure, even for us. School has presented a few learning challenges so far, so good to focus on the big picture! 🙏👍

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