I sing most every day of my life, I have for many years now. It's not that big of a deal - it's who I am, it's what I do. It's what I've always done.
My family has always been highly supportive of my love of singing. Especially my extended family, such as my grandmothers.
My Nan (maternal grandmother) was a singer herself growing up. She frequently told me about how she sang in the church choir. She loved music.We even went and saw Mamma Mia! together when it came out.
Once, she invited me to sing at her church, and play the violin. I'll never forget that, it was an amazing performance. I was only fifteen at the time.
I can hear her in my head say, "You did a wonderful job, sweetie, that sounded beautiful."
I'd never knew the next time I'd be singing in that church, she wouldn't be there. I was still singing for her.
My Nan was 84 when she passed. She was very ill. She had been very ill for a very long time. I don't know why she had more then a fair share of health problems throughout her life. It wasn't right.
As of recent, before she died, I didn't see my nan near as much as I should've. I should've gone more often. I should've called. I should've written.
I 'didn't have time'. I should've made time.
I'll never forget the day I heard she died. In that moment, it was so sudden. She had been going through a pattern of getting worse, then better, then worse, then better, etc. - I think some of us expected her to pull through again. But she didn't this time. She was gone.
She was the first person who I ever really knew that I lost in my life.
The morning after she passed, my mother called for me and told me when I got out of bed, she had something very important to ask me. I already knew what it was. She asked me if I'd sing at Nan's funeral. I burst into tears, shaking my head. "I can't do it, I can't do it." I knew I'd burst into tears at the funeral. But mostly, I felt guilt. After not seeing her like I should have, I felt such guilt.
She called my voice teacher, Pati, to sing and play guitar at the funeral. Pati accepted the offer.
Everyday, nearing the day of the funeral, I began to wonder if I could sing. Maybe, just maybe, it's the last thing I can truley do for Nan on this Earth.
It weighed on my mind.
The day of the funeral, Pati stepped up to sing "I'll Fly Away". I joined her, and we sang in harmony.
"Some glad morning, when this life is over
I'll fly away"
Nan did die in the morning, so I guess it's ironic.
But ... I sang. For her, I sang. In that same church that I had sung years before.
I still believe she was watching me there.
Nan, I hope your lungs are better in Heaven - because I know you'll want to be in that choir of angels.