I have a hole in my heart.
A piece of my soul is empty and missing, and every day I have to live with it. Every day I have to put on my “big girl panties” and pull my shit together and deal. Every day I wake up and the absence of a crib and a baby to feed haunts me. Every day that I go to The Day Job I am reminded of what I don’t have. Every time I stumble across those pregnancy photos on my iPad that I don’t have the heart to delete, I am doused with the cold reality of my broken dreams.
You might think this makes me bitter, or angry, or incapable of “moving on,” and at times, I am angry. At times I am bitter. But I am not incapable.
I am not incapable because I am present. I’m not holing up in my house like a hermit who can’t live. I go out and have fun. I can, and I do. For the most part, I am happy. I laugh, I joke, I pursue my projects and music with the same fervor I always have. I understand, and am at peace with what happened and why it happened. I have come to terms with my faith and my God over these events He saw fit to allow. It is coming on four months now, and I am truly okay with it.
But the truth is that no matter what I do now, I am reminded of how it should have been. Even when I am happy, even when I am in the throes of joy, there’s still that out-of-tune twang of sorrow. There’s still that ‘off’ warble. And there always will be, because my son is gone. I may be “young,” and I may indeed “have another,” but nothing on this earth will ever replace Michael.
I’m like that guitar I fixed up. It was BROKEN. The previous owner was just going to throw it away because it had been trashed! I was appalled at what had been done to it. But it was not a lost cause. A little time, a little love, a little care, and it plays again. It plays beautifully. And though it has been adjusted and repaired to make lovely music again, there’s still an intermittent buzz, a sporadically audible flaw in the sound. 97% of the time, you can’t even hear it. But it is there, and will always be there. It doesn’t mean that guitar can’t play beautiful songs and bring joy to others. It’s just a leftover from the time when it was broken, a reminder left of a time when life was not good. A scar left of its’ past.
That’s me. I am the guitar. While each day brings me closer to being whole, I will never be truly “fixed.” In losing Michael, I lost parts of myself that I can’t get back. Those losses won’t go away, even if the next forty years or so are perfect. They are the sour note of this performance — the note has already been played, and can no longer be recalled.
But what does a good performer do?
Keep playing. Good performers keep playing because no performance is ever perfect, and the experience of the song is the most important part.