“And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
From a day in February, 2012…
“How are you?” she asked quietly, her eyes seeking.
My breath caught in my throat. I waited for the reaction I normally have when people ask me that question…for a shiver to travel down my spine, a cringe to shudder my body, for the gritting of my teeth. I waited, but nothing happened. Surprised, I looked up to meet her eyes.
“How are you?” she repeated, nodding her head, encouraging me to speak.
How are you…I thought…she didn’t stress the “are.”
It was such a simple difference–her voice, versus everyone else. Her voice was smooth and genuine and soft. It contained no lilt, no inflection, no drama alluding to how “terrible” my situation must be. She wasn’t working hard at all to convey sympathy or understanding. That was because, her voice…it didn’t need me to answer. It already knew what I could and couldn’t put into words.
I nodded clumsily, stupidly…could barely speak. The tears that sprang to my eyes surprised even me.
It had just been so long since someone had asked me that question without requiring an answer.
She took my hand and gave it a squeeze. And I knew, as I drove away, that her son would have been twenty-six this year…if he had lived.
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Photos on Visualhunt.com.
Brings tears to my eyes
I realize that so many people have lost a child, but it is helpful to find a “sister” in all of it. Makes the journey less lonely.