Audrey is at the play group with Lisa. It is a strange mix of things I find myself doing with my couple of hours of precious alone time.
I looked through my basket of paperwork- made a few phone calls. Trying to sort out how I’ll get to my counseling session this week. Finding rides and arranging someone to watch Audrey is getting tough. Then I have the grief group tonight and A’s birthday and the Benefit Concert in Williamsburg the 27th. Still don’t know how I’ll get there or who would be the best, most supportive person for me to sit near. All of that is getting very confusing.
On the phone with one company, the representative asked me what my relation was to Daniel Cho. “I was his wife,” I heard myself say. Immediately I was disappointed that I had used the past tense. I am Dan’s wife no? I am the only wife he’ll ever have.
Picked up my guitar and played a few songs that I wrote when we first met- one on the day of, another a week later. They resonate now with that double meaning that is so powerful. I wept. I’m not sure who I miss anymore- it’s that amalgamation of you I guess- I miss you at 22, and I miss you at 33 simultaneously.
I realize so many of the songs I’d written that I thought were mine- were really “ours.” When you accompanied me they became yours. And with that so much better, stronger, and more beautiful, and also more mine. I’m sure every artist who has played with you feels this same way.
I’m not sure I can believe anymore that you could possibly bear to see us like this and still be in a place of peace and love. When I see you watching me now, you are also crying. Things are so much less mystical now I guess.
I decided to try to record the song I wrote for your 30th birthday on your iPhone- I realized it has a little microphone icon and I remember seeing you talk or sing into it. I wanted to record this song at a friend’s studio and he asked me to just send him a basic recording so he could start laying down some of the guitar tracks.
What I didn’t count on was finding all of the voice notes that you had created within that icon somewhere. They are from last December, January, March, April, and so on. The last one is dated June 6, 2010- one month before you would die. So there I was with the phone pressed up against my ear, listening to you sing little tunes that you had in your head. It was like you were whispering them right in my ear. It was like I was on the phone with you. I could hear through the way you sang them some of the parts you intended for cello. I could hear Audrey babbling in the background of some. In some I could hear you were on a busy street or at a bus stop walking as you spoke or sang the instrumentals or the lyrics in some cases.
A friend wrote me a while back with regards to the amputation metaphor that is so common in widow circles. She told me that some real amputees suffer phantom pains where the lost limb would be and that therapists sometimes heal the pain by placing a mirror in a certain way so that the amputee appears to have an arm, or a leg there again. Just seeing it there relieves the pain.
I am so glad I heard you today on the phone Dan. You sounded perfectly well and alive. You were in the act of creating. Hearing your voice pressed up against my ear- though one would think it would be devastating- was like my mirror. I held my breath as I listened.