“And a little bit of Chicken Fried…”

If you had asked me 4+ years ago, I would have told you this was a song of joy and laughter. But today I am just thankful that when it came on my Alexa 2000’s Country Hits playlist, I didn’t cry listening to it. That’s a first for me since losing Marriah.

Let me explain.

The song itself is upbeat, happy, and just a feel good summer jam. It’s one of those songs that will get stuck in your head and you’re not mad at it.

To me it’s a Nope Song that I associate with Marriah and I feel like I should explain the back story.

When I was in high school, I was part of a production of “Black Snow” by Michael Bulgakov (adapted by Keith Reddin). It is a Russian play and everyone in the play had a Russian accent. So, naturally, I learned how to speak with a Russian accent.

Marriah LOVED my Russian accent. She said that my 2nd personality (my Russian personality) was named Olga. Anytime Marriah needed a laugh….enter Olga.

At one time, I even had a list of words and phrases that particularly cracked her up. I could always bring her joy with Olga and her accent.

I started calling her my little raspberry, because when you say it in the accent it comes out as “Leetle Razzburry”. She was even in my phone as Leetle Razzburry for a long while. I don’t remember how we even figured out that those two words as Olga were so funny. But her laughter in response caused the nickname to stick.

Now it is by no means a perfect Russian accent, but it was what I needed it to be for her amusement and I am so thankful for the memories.

I can crack my Aunt (Marriah’s mom) up pretty good with it too.

I couldn’t tell you how this came about and, if I am being fair, it really doesn’t matter at this point….

I used to sing “Chicken Fried” to Marriah as Olga with the accent. I mean, you *could* call it singing…however, it was more of a spoke word-type thing.

But you wanna see Marriah laugh so hard she was crying? “Chicken Fried” in a Russian accent would do it EVERY. TIME.

So when I lost her, I lost my love of the song— with or without the accent.

It got added to the list of songs that no longer brought me joy or just straight up made me sad.

How bizarre is that? A song that is just a straight up jam, opened the flood gates and made me ball like a baby.

But not today.

Today I listened. Today I smiled. Today I sang along. Today I listened to it a second time.

Today I didn’t let the sadness over take me. Today I let her memory flow and I enjoyed thinking about all of the good times she and I had.

Today I didn’t let sadness take my joy.

Today I didn’t let grief win.

And as I continue my journey of grief, I am going to mark this in the win column.

Love you always. Miss you forever, Leetle Razzburry. 🌻

One of my favorite pictures of us…it’s frequently my profile picture on my social media.
What is serious? Who needs serious? 🤣

Credits: “Chicken Fried”
Artist: Zac Brown Band (2004)
Written: Zac Brown & Wyatt Durrette
https://youtu.be/cZPusEr2o74

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