The Day I Couldn’t Sing

The Day I Couldn’t Sing

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On Friday, January 6th I had the honor of being with my friends Laura, Karen, and Brenda when their mother Wanda passed away. Wanda was an honest, simple, and kind woman. My children called her Grandma Wanda. Losing her battle to cancer was the result of a long hard fight. She is greatly missed.

After Wanda’s passing the family asked me to sing at her funeral. There was not a question as to my willingness. I was ready. The song was even one of my favorites “Here I am, Lord” by Dan Schulte.

As the funeral approached, my nerves grew. My sadness seemed to have a hold on my voice. The day of Wanda’s funeral I prayed for grace and the ability to sing in a way that was worthy of honoring Wanda’s life.

It was a cold, windy day. The funeral home did not have an organist to accompany me so I found the music online. The funeral director and I checked and double checked that it was the correct music. As the funeral service began, I followed the ministers and other vocalist into the funeral salon. We were seated next to Wanda’s coffin.

It was heartbreaking to see the sadness on my friends’ faces and knowing that Miss Wanda was lying there next to me. The other vocalist sang the opening song beautifully. The opening prayer was humble and reverent.

It was my turn to sing. As I took my place at the microphone, I could hear the melody in my heart but not in my ears. Slowly the music began to filter in through the speakers. The speakers were overhead, projecting outward, and away from me. I leaned forward and took  a deep breath. Too deep. I missed the sound of my opening note. I quickly caught up but my voice was shaky and a bit high.

The winds blowing outside shook the windows and the WiFi antenna. The music stopped. I sang a few words but could not find the melody in my ears or my heart. It was as if the sadness and wind had blown me too far off my musical course. I could not sing.

I apologized. The music buffered and restarted at a different spot. I waited for the chorus and I sang again shakier than ever and without my heart in the song. As I made it to the last verse, my friend smiled at me and nodded. She knew I was doing my best and how hard it was to be there. The music cut out again briefly but I sang that last verse and closing chorus to the best of my ability, sat down, and cried.

My tears were not from embarrassment but from shame. How could I let Wanda’s family down? How could I let Wanda down? I just couldn’t sing. Continue reading “The Day I Couldn’t Sing”

Tune into Peace – Wise Words Wednesday

Tune into Peace – Wise Words Wednesday

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Most people only think of television or the radio when it comes to channels. Way before tv took over our mindscape, channels meant a way to guide or divert things like water or attention.

“Prayer of St. Francis” has long been one of my favorite church hymns but lately it has had a much more powerful meaning. There seems to be so much hurt and hatred in our world caused by the sensitivity we have created amongst ourselves. We need to redirect our emotions and energy toward creating peace.

No two people were made the same. (Thank goodness!) We need to embrace the things that make us different and let go of the things that we believe divide us. This isn’t about race, gender, or religion. It’s about love.

Too many believe that they cannot love or be loved by certain groups. Those kinds of ideas must be derailed and their love and thoughts must be channeled by means of peace.

Please continue to direct your energy and intents to ending unrest and hurt. Bring unity and coexistence to daily routines. Tune out the ideas that only violence and revenge can end the disparities. Let peace be the channel by which we find love for everyone and let injuries find healing through our actions and words.

By: Melanie A. Peters