The Story that is the Song

He took her very heart
into his young care.
And without really planning
or knowing he was doing it
he rewrote the staff and pitch and notes
for the music stirring there.
He encouraged a beautiful Melody,
then added the Tenor.
Their life together was
a (mostly) beautiful song.

And so the years passed.

They added verses and voices
and more harmonies
all carried by the sweet, strong Melody
and the rich, full Tenor.
Somehow they made the rest
of the world sound good.

Then one April day
the Melody faltered.
There were days and days
without a song.
And the Tenor could neither sing nor soar
without the Melody.

Somewhere in our hearts
we still heard the song.
So we stood around her bed
and sang it to her.
We prayed the song would
give her hope.


There came a day when
the eyes recovered the sparkle.
The spirit revived the spunk.
And the song
though tremulous and weak
in her damaged throat
went bravely on in the hearts
of the two we called
Daddy and Mama.

And this new harmony was
so beautiful, so pure, so sweet.
Like nothing we had ever heard before.
Haunting in its tenderness.
Tentative in its joy.
Careful in its hope
But tenacious in that thread of Faith
that defined the rest of life.

And then there came the day
when we stood around his bed
and tried to sing the song to a heart
that was already listening
for the Music of Heaven
He may have heard us.
But the other Music was more compelling.
And he took his full, rich tenor –
And went Home.

What became of the song?
The Melody was still sweet.  Still strong.
But I often saw the faraway look
Like she was listening for something, Someone.
And when we would sing the
Songs of Heaven,
The thoughtful look intensified.
Sometimes it seemed that if
She listened hard enough,
She could hear that familiar voice.
But no.  It was long gone.

But the song — The Song!
It went on and on and on and on.
I heard it in the sounds of the voices.
Of my brothers and sisters.
Our children.
Our grandchildren.
And I heard it still in the heart of
that Sweet Strong Melody.
My Mama.

And then there came the day
when the chords were broken.
We stood again, beside her bed.
And she, with eyes of
quiet intensity,
tried once again to speak
the words of this song
that her heart was
still singing.
We heard the message.
But there was no more music,
no more earth voice
for this song she so desperately wanted to remind us of.

We held her hands,
and sang her the songs of Heaven
while she struggled between
the loved and known,
and the Celestial Unknown.

She didn’t want to go.

But in the end, the Angel’s song won.
She heard the Heavenly music.
She heard, somewhere,
that Rich and Full Tenor.
Already in that Chorus, and
it drew her into the other world.
Suddenly peaceful, suddenly quiet,
she went Home.

These last few years,
She found it hard to sing.
But every day for almost six decades,
She sang a song to my heart.
A Song of Faith;
Of Hope; of Courage; of Love.
Of Heaven.

And I have heard it
so often and so long
that the music sings itself to me.
I hear it on sunshiny days
when the paths seem clear.
I hear it when the rain comes down
and speaks life to the earth.
I hear it when the night is dark
and I cannot find my way.
I hear it in the ice and cold
of winter.

I hear it still.

The harmony is
so beautiful, so pure, so sweet.
Like something I have heard before.
Haunting in its tenderness.
Tentative in its joy.
Careful in its hope.
But tenacious in that thread of Faith
that defines the rest of life.

How I love The Song!

But it will never be the same again
without the Tenor and Soprano.

One of my favorite sympathy cards from these last weeks.
Inside, it simply says, “In Sympathy and Hope.”

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Filed under Dealing with Grief, home living

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