I have a friend who once said to me “always remember YOUR song”. I looked at her and said “And, it I forget it, will you promise to remind me what it is?”
I called her last week. I told her that I remembered what my song was, but I couldn’t remember the tune or the words. I was crushed. I was beaten down. I was devastated. I was weary.
She listened. She didn’t say a word. She let me pour out my soul until it was empty. Empty of the hurts of words misunderstood; of unintentionally hurting a friend with no realization the power my words and what they can mean to different people; or how words I speak are sometimes said without thinking they could have double meaning; she listened to me with my gut wrenching; of the frustration of not knowing ‘who/what’ I would wake up with as I deal with a super-glued body; of my husband being right (again) that I haven’t come to the point of acceptance that this is how it will be for me; that I need to go back to my song and rework some of the measures, because life will continue to change.
I realized I was focusing on a song that was not of the genre I write in. My focus was not on the tune or the beat and measures that usually flow easily. My anger was rising, on a day when I didn’t know ‘who/what’ I woke up to, that morning, wondering if I would be able to go on.
I sat crumpled on the stairs, my cheeks streaked with tears, my breath coming in gulps. Still my friend listened silently. For a while it seemed like the phone line was dead as neither of us spoke.
Then I stood up on the stairs and looked outside at the mountains out the windows. The “Big One”, one of our favorite eagles soared on a thermal. Suddenly, I knew not only my song, but I could hear the tune. Some of the words were missing. No…. they weren’t missing, they were rearranged, and in their place was a pause – a rest. And I remembered from my piano lesson days that a rest is part of the music. Foolishly, I thought I had come to the end of my song, instead, a rest, a pause had been inserted.
While I was fighting having to slow down, to pause, feeling angry that there was nothing I could do for the moment to repair the damage of words spoken, I had overlooked the pause that would make the tune flow. While I was rebelling against a body I had no control over, I disregarded that slurring over the rest/pause would change the key.
I know my song. I remember the tune. I am grateful for a friend who listens, even when the arrangement needs to get rearranged a bit so that the song can soar to the heavens.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.