Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Voice

(If you immediately thought of the reality TV singing competition, you've come to the wrong place.)

We knew.  The odds were not even close to being in our favor.  As Jill always said, "Science just needs to catch up."

That's not to say we didn't have hope.  Our lifeblood was hope.  W/o it this would have been a much shorter, much darker journey.  It's just that our hope coexisted w/ reality.  Some days - like when a chemotherapy had run its course and we needed a new plan - reality kicked the shit out of us.  But, we lifted one another up and grabbed onto that hope once again.  Amazing how a person can almost be fully functional w/ a little bit of hope.  (It's when that hope is snatched away that you crumble.)

But, as days, months, and even years passed, we began to recognize that science wasn't catching up...and our 'mass medicine' options were running low.  We could start to see the end of the track...though we didn't focus our attention there.  (That's when I started to take deeper breaths on a regular basis...just to quickly reground myself, keep calm, and be that rock that Jilly needed.)

In effort to consciously have more meaningful, elongated conversations, Jill and I began to record ourselves at night...just audio, no video.  We even toyed w/ the idea of making these conversations into a podcast.  (Come on, everyone's doing it.)  Each conversation - 45-60 mins in length - centered on a certain topic - friendship, finances, fear, and a couple others that didn't start w/ 'f.'  We did five in all.  (I wish we did 500.)  I'd hit record and we'd just talk, free form.

I listened to a couple last night.  (I don't sleep much at night.)  And it's that voice, that fucking beautiful voice.  I can look at pictures for hours on end (and I do).  It helps (& hurts at the same time).  But, her voice.  Jilly's voice.  The inflections, the volumes, the emotions, the cadence, the sincere warmth - I miss and love it all.  Really, this is not some rearview rose colored glasses feeling.
I can genuinely recall being in conversation w/ Jilly this past year and truly, actively listening to the sound of her voice (probably omitting the context her words).  I knew that there was a limited shelf life to that voice.  And I was trying to permanently engrain it in my head, in my heart.

And thank God for the voice memo app on the iPhone.  I have about a dozen 2-10 minute audio files that I recorded unbeknownst to anyone present to capture little snippets of our daily life...the 'tiny commonplace.'  I played one for Ro this morning before school.  As we were finishing up breakfast, I played Mommy singing a song from Ro's second grade play.  It's freaking magical.  Ro lit up and I light up every time I hear it...honestly, every time I hear Jilly's voice I glow.

It's comforting.

It's home.

Got anyone w/in earshot that you love, adore, and/or admire?  Ask them something, anything.  Then really, truly listen to their voice.  It's like nothing else in this world.

All love,

J, J, & r

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