“Humming is… magic,” said my powerful friend, “Hard to explain. it makes you breathe and sends a message to everyone around.”
Except that every time I tried to hum I ended up singing. In the shower. Doing dishes. Walking the dog. Quietly with you nearby.
I have a forever friend who is a love story. She met her husband and within days, changed her life to be with him. I watch her social media feed now – the two children their love has grown – and the truth of what they share is the living that they do.
We were not a love story. We were a choice. Do you remember? “I am choosing to love you,” I texted.
When we first started to spend time together, you said you were just looking for someone to hang out with, to share some fun. “Sure,” I said. Except that you were more than fun; you were that joy, right away. And so I told you – within days – that I was choosing to love you. I didn’t need you to love me back. But to my surprise you returned, “I am choosing to love you too.” And off we went . . . But not into the sunset. Our truth is the living we share, but it looks very different from that of my forever friend.
You are the bits, now. All of the bits that are left after I have sifted out the struggling we did together. The bits of joy and strength and wisdom. In this peace we share every day, I am living. It’s a very different form of living, because your hand is not here to hold. Your foot is not out of its sandal and up on the dashboard of the car. There are no randomly tweezed beard hairs on the bathroom counter. I only hear the noise of the water tank, when I fill it myself.
“Mmmhmmm,” encouraged my powerful friend, “Hum the word, mhmmm.” And then this was the word that our sacred friend in Costa Rica used, repeatedly, as I told her about the peace that came after your passing. She affirmed my truth, as I told her what I was feeling and choosing. “Mhmm,” she said. Yes.
I liked singing with you, when you would choose to add words to your guitar. Rock me mama, any way you feel . . . After you were gone there was a whole lotta Michael Franti. Hey, I love you. Nobody right, nobody wrong. Have a little faith . . .
My forever friend and I go all the way back to being five. We did a lot of singing together, mostly in high school. There was choir, and the Ave Maria. And there was a lot of harmonizing as we drove around the city in some parental car. Freedom. Free, just like the harmonizing I did with my mother as we washed the dishes together, in those same teen years.
Has Gord Downey let you play rhythm for him yet? Mhmm.