Today is the fifth of August. 3 months since half of my heart died. 90 days since I last spoke to my very best friend. A sad milestone.
These fifths surround me as I move forward, I can hear them, a progression of 12 tones, one of them for each month. Each month with its associated major and minor key. Some days I exist in harmony with his death; I understand that what has happened is a circumstance of life – people die. But other days things take a minor key; nothing seems right without my Bear. This was not how I expected my future to be.
I’m taking singing lessons.
In April, while we were crossing the Texas panhandle we were talking about fear and what fear had stopped us from doing in our lives. I confided to Warren that I wished I had taken up singing when I was younger. Singing makes me feel free – it revs me up, makes me happy! But I’ve always been reluctant to sing in front of anyone, I told him, I didn’t think my voice was very good.
‘Fear shouldn’t stop you from doing what makes you happy. Look at us. If we had let fear stop us, we would not be here’ He took my hand and held if for a few seconds while I thought about this.
He shook his head, then turned the radio off. We drove in silence for a moment, then he took a big breath and he started to sing. In his wonderful, gruff, off-key voice, he belted out – acapella – John Hiatt’s song ‘Drive South’ – one of our favourites. When he was finished, he looked at me.
I did not know what to say…
‘Are you offended by my voice?’
I shook my head, a little stunned, ‘No Bear…’
He raised his eyebrow.
‘Do you think I’d be offended by your voice?’
I stared at him – suddenly understanding what he was doing
‘Then sing. For me. I want to hear how happy you are’.
After a few moments, he nodded again, then reached for my hand and started singing too…
When he died, I couldn’t sing anymore. I just could not stand the idea of doing anything that distracted me from my grief. And when I tried to sing I usually ended up crying.
But after a few weeks I realized that I had to keep singing – for him. I needed to find that happy again. I still cry when I sing certain songs: The Dance by Garth Brooks does me in every time. But he is right – no fear should stop me from doing what makes me happy.
I miss him every single day. Every one. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like right now if I had not had him in my life. He really helped me find my bravery. And helped me to realize that life, this life, is all we have.
So I sing. I practice my Circle of Fifths and love him with every note that comes out of my mouth.
I love you my Bear….