Three weeks ago, I stood in a graveyard and said goodbye to someone so loved, so young, and we all sang You Are My Sunshine.
It was her favorite song. It once was mine, too. As a small girl in pigtails I'd ask for it over and over. And then again. Sing it to me, I'd beg. Please. It's the most wonderful song in the world.
So I sang it for her. For us. We all did.
And only days ago, there I was saying goodbye to someone so loved again. Standing by myself, in my gnome-filled garden, singing what was the saddest song in the world to me right then.
Bob chastised me after. You never taught me that song, he said. You never sang it to me when I was little.
I thought I had. Like, really thought I had. Ahem. But it doesn't matter. It's not too late. I'll sing it with him tonight, anyway. He'll be mortified, as only a tween can be. But so what. That's my job, as a parent. To mortify.
Then I'll tell him to sing it to his children, as my parents did to me, and that every time he does he'll remember I love him. How much I love him and his brother. He might even listen. And maybe it will be a happy song for him too.
It's not like we should need these reminders. Every brain scan, every test results, is a kick in gut. But even then, we slip into complacency in between sometimes.
So. I suppose even the worst news brings something more to each of us.
Life is good, but it's too short. Don't be too late. Go sing.
"When I looked at you, my life made sense. Even the bad things made sense. They were necessary to make you possible."
"Songs are as sad as the listener."
--Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.