Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | February 13, 2014

Achy Breaky Heart, Does that song even have a meaning?

With a new version of the song Achy Breaky Heart out, it got me thinking about the original version.  I have always wondered how that song became so popular and how in the world could it mean anything to anyone? Well I can tell you that it means a lot to me, and to be honest it has nothing to do with the actual words or meaning of the song.  In fact I am not even sure I like the song still today but it is with out a doubt a song that means something to me.    

I was 15 years old and it was summer time.  I was going on my first ever vacation to the ocean.  I would be going with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  Also going were my aunt and uncle’s best friends family and my uncle’s brother and his family.  We had our own little caravan of people going, taking three full vans in order to get us there.  Each van had their own two-way radio so that they could talk to each other in case someone needed to pull off for car trouble or just needed to get off at the next exit for a restroom break.  Why radios you ask? Because this was before the day that everyone had a cell phone. 

A new song was popular by this guy with a mullet and a southern accent; yep you guessed it, Billy Ray Cyrus.  The song was Achy Breaky Heart.  How popular you ask? Well, it was enough that my aunt and the others seemed to scan the radio stations just to find this song and when they did find it they would radio each other what station it was on and then crank it up.  Now I know in my mind this probably only happened a few times but I swear I remember it as if it was about a million times that they did this.  It did not matter which van I road in I just remember all of them doing it and how it kept a 16 hour drive upbeat and fun. 

There are so many things I remember about that trip.  I remember my uncle having to pull into the grassy median at a high rate of speed, and keeping great control of the van until he was able to slow it down, in order to avoid an accident.  When I was in my Uncle’s brother Bill’s van we played the alphabet game using road signs while going through the smoky mountains.  I also remember that his wife was not too fond of that game being played while we traveled along sharp curves and dangerous roadside drop offs but the game continued anyways.  At one of our stops to grab a bite to eat I remember my cousin and I finding a dead snake and throwing it onto his sister and her friend, scaring the crap out of them. 

I recall that very first time I got to step onto the beach.  Everything was so beautiful.  The sound of the ocean waves crashing on the sand and it looking as if the ocean never ended just mesmerized me.  This was so much better than seeing it on TV.  The first time I walked into the water, just wanting the waves to crash into me and getting splashed in the face, was surprising on two counts.  First, because I underestimated the strength of the waves and second was that salty taste that instantly hit your lips.  Neither was enough to stop me from enjoying the awesomeness of the ocean though.  Using rafts, boogie boards, and even our own bodies to ride the waves in was the best experience of my life at that point. 

I remember my aunt thinking something swam beside her and rubbed up against her and freaking out.  This in turn made all the girls seem to freak out, anytime and all week long, when they even thought something touched them.  This happened even though what rubbed up against my aunt was just another swimmer.  There was my cousin telling me that her and her friend snuck into a wedding reception of people they didn’t know and eating some of their food.  I recall my uncle and his friend David getting stuck on an elevator with a small child and the fire department being called.  I remember playing the tennis match of a lifetime (at least that is what it seemed like at the time but looking back he probably just took it easy on me) with Bill.  There were gravity machine rides, arguments with put put golf employees, and much more fun than I could have ever imagined.   

This was my first true vacation.  Yes I had been to a few other places for long weekend trips but this was a week long vacation on the beach.  I do not know if they know it but this trip impacted me in a way that changed my life forever.  Because of that trip I have made it my mission in my life to make sure my kids get to experience vacations and making memories like that one.  I am so thankful that Duffy, Kristi, Bill, Michelle, David, and Dana allowed me to join them on this vacation.  Not only did they let me come along, they made me feel welcomed, loved, and every bit as special as their own children.  I will forever be grateful and blessed that I was part of this trip.  It changed my life forever.

It is hard to imagine that a song that I don’t even like can bring back one of my favorite memories and have so much meaning to me.  So the song Achy Breaky Heart will forever be a permanent and special part of my life, no matter how maddening the song itself is.    


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