Losing And Finding The Way

One day it occurs to you that your baby hasn’t sat in your lap for months, is now in fact nearly a teenager, and will never be yours in quite that way again.  If you’d only been able to see the future more clearly, you’d have made it last and last, that one momentous and final time.

For the past week Shel hasn’t been able to speak, only to whisper.  When he first feared losing his voice to cancer, about 14 years ago, he sat up all night singing and playing the guitar, recording his clear sweet baritone for posterity.  Inevitably, no one now knows where that tape is, and neither of us remembers his voice as it once was.  But when he started whispering, I found that I couldn’t even remember with perfect clarity the voice he had last week.  I never imagined that I wouldn’t hear it again, didn’t know what I’d be missing, one fine, silent day.

One morning you wake up and something excruciatingly precious to you is gone forever.  You can say “c’est la vie” all you want, but you know you’re lying.

But although leaves have been falling all around us, this one heart-leaf has hung on, right outside our bedroom window, even through yesterday’s storm.  Shel was on the road in that storm, on the way to Montpellier for a band rehearsal, his last before whatever is to come next, surgically speaking.  He doesn’t sing with the band, just plays a virtuoso bass, so a whisper would suffice.  Barry came to get him, so he didn’t have to drive.  I stayed home and started writing about loss.

But today Shel returned from Montpellier speaking in a beautiful, clear voice.  This morning Barry took him to see Sylvie, who put her hand on his throat.  Twice.  And then, he could talk again.  No way.  Pas possible.  Way.

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10 Comments on “Losing And Finding The Way”


  1. HEEE-EEY BAND POW- ER .

    I cried and Patou cried , this is better than all the Christmas presents we ever had .
    Let no one underestimate the healing power of Rock and Roll , and the determination and Courage of Shel and Abra .

    Heartfelt Love to you Both xxx

    ON Y VAS !

  2. Rebecca263 Says:

    Oh, Abra… record now, and save it!
    I also had recorded my vocals in preparation for losing my voice, and yes, I lost my old voice and now have a cancer voice… but the worst tinhg is we’ve lost those recordings!
    Be well, Shel, fare well, and thrive.

  3. Debra Lane Says:

    What a beautiful tribute and the leave definitely has significance! Shel, hugs to you and know that you are thought of very warmly. Abra – you are an amazingly strong woman and enjoy the days ahead of you together.

  4. Debra Lane Says:

    trying to edit leave to leaf. gosh I feel like Sarah Palin!

  5. Ray Says:

    a fine gift…music, friends and healing hands….thank you for your voices.

  6. EHS Says:

    A beautiful story for two beautiful people. Though I don’t know either… I can see the magic in Abra’s words and feel the love of both through her pictures. God Bless…

  7. Eden Says:

    we’ll raise a glass tonight to Sylvie’s hands along with Shel’s continued good health!

  8. Carolyn & Bob Says:

    As Bob would say, I have “boosegumps!”

    XOXO,

  9. Nina Says:

    Miracles happen in this life, and I am so glad for you both. A dear old friend also lost his voice to cancer, but never lost his power to communicate, or to let us know of his love, or his sense of fun.
    I pray for the wonders of continued healing.

  10. Andrea Says:

    I felt today that I should catch up on your blogs that I have so missed reading. You write with such beauty, clarity, and love.
    This truly brought tears to my eyes.
    May the healing continue. Love you both.


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