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South Texas Living

‘Let It Be’ provides healing 50 years later

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Julia Castro
Apple Pie and Salsa
March 5, 2014 | 4,657 views | 1 comment

Recently the whole country, or most of it, commemorated the arrival of “The Beatles” 50 years ago on Feb. 7, 1964. They had a special on them on national TV.

Several years ago while riding in the car, I heard the song “Let It Be” for the first time, that I could remember. I thought it was so beautiful! And I was surprised that they were playing it on a radio station that usually plays just popular music. The next time I heard it (and this is not easy for me to write) was when our oldest son, Louie, was on hospice care at home. After years of suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and frequent trips to the hospital, his family decided that they would take care of him. There was nothing more they could do for him in the hospital. They supplied them with a hospital bed to make him as comfortable as possible. His family surrounded him with things that he loved -- posters of the Dallas Cowboys and the San Antonio Spurs, and his favorite music by “The Beatles.” (I gave him a rosary of wooden beads from the Holy Land that had been given to me.)

Louie was only 8 years old when “The Beatles” came but he grew up listening to them. Many a time he would shut himself up in the room that he shared with Larry and spin around to the music. Not all of us got to see what he was doing. Sara got nosy one time when we were in the back yard and she went up to the window and peeked in. He caught her by surprise when he threw a punch at the screen. She didn’t do that again, but she told us what he was doing.

On one of my frequent visits with him, he was listening to “Let It Be.” Now I knew that it was by “The Beatles.” I still don’t know how I could have missed it all those years. And I still thought that it was a religious song until a while back when I saw an interview on TV with Paul McCartney. He was explaining how he came to write the song. He revealed that in 1968 he was going through a difficult time in his life. He had sensed that the group was breaking up. He was partying hard and sometimes had trouble sleeping. I wasn’t sure that I could remember all that he said so I looked it up on the Internet and found the story on MattAndJojang Blog.

Following are excerpts from his story: “Then one night between sleep and insomnia I had the most comforting dream about my mother who died when I was only 14. When she died, one of the difficulties I had as the years went by was that I couldn’t remember her face. So in the dream 12 years later my mother appeared and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes. And she said, ‘Let it be.’ It was lovely. I woke up to a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message, ‘Be gentle, don’t fight things -- just try and go with the flow and it will all work out.’”

Paul goes on to say that he went over to the piano and started to write a song. He said, “Mary was my mother’s name.” One of the other members of the group hated the song, even after some revisions, “because of its apparent Christian overtones.” Paul continued, “It became a comforting, healing statement for other people too.” As a Catholic I would like to imagine that it is my Blessed Mother Mary speaking to me, giving me motherly advice.

Our beloved Louie went “home” peacefully just a few minutes after Henry and I came home for lunch that fateful Saturday in June 2005. He was so blessed to have his loving wife and all his children taking such wonderful care of him. It helped that all five of his daughters are trained in the nursing field. And the hospice team was so caring. Louie is still very much missed by all his family and friends.

A lot of you probably already knew the story behind the song, so this is for those that might not have known. This is one of those songs that is music for the ages. And it can be a healing tool if we only do what it says, “Let It Be.”

Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is

Your Opinions and Comments

Lia C Flores  
Floresville, TX  
March 6, 2014 7:13pm
Thanks for sharing this. I had never heard the story behind the song "Let It Be."

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