On the phone I sang to her in what would be her last hours; the song we used to harmonize in college. Her voice was a faint whisper, but I could feel her presence. At some point I forgot the words and launched into a series of melodic “something-somethings” while laughing and crying. She tried to speak. Her voice was too soft for me to hear… so I told her to just listen. I didn’t want her to struggle.
When I got on the plane the next morning, I got word. I disembarked and sat out side in the cold air, waiting to be picked-up to return home. I could have waited the 40 minutes inside, but feeling the discomfort and clarity of the cold kept me out there at departures. Or maybe it was just feeling something that kept me. Sitting tenuously on my suitcase, the numbness filled my visible breath. And I replayed the song hearing her harmony next to my melody. Filling in what was missing.
John told me later in the day that she was smiling ear to ear through our brief conversation and though he didn’t know what I was singing to her, he could tell that she was filling in my forgotten words.
I’m not sure I will ever recognize myself in this world; this place where Linda doesn’t breathe the air. I’ve never lost like this. Maybe someday I will find a way to use these memories to fill in the hole in my heart. Maybe not. Either way, I will seek comfort in the devoted song- that will always find harmony in my mind.