three songs and one habit – writing 101, day three

i will remember you – skid row as performed by the ataris

i can’t actually listen to this song anymore. i don’t even listen to radio stations where there is a chance this song might come on. sure, it’s been over four years but music has a way of cutting deep. not as deep as smell. no, grilled cheese with bacon and honey burt’s bees cause a knee jerk gag reflex tied to a life altering voice mail and chapped ventilator lips. go ahead, be mad at me. the first words every girl wants to hear from the boy waking up from a coma. a coma induced by a perfectly executed suicide attempt. perfectly executed, not completed. thank goodness for voicemail. thank goodness for voicemails with song lyrics (were there song lyrics – i can’t remember? though there must’ve been. there were always song lyrics). thank goodness for voicemails as suicide notes, labored breathing, final goodbyes, final blame. final. final. twenty two calls and i turned my phone off. twenty two phone calls and two hours since the power button was pressed that the voicemail came through. two hours of silence. two hours of a heart barely beating, sluggishly pushing the last bits of oxygenated blood through veins and vessels. thank god for voicemails. four years later and the song still haunts me. sometimes i wake up to the sound of pouring rain, washed away a dream of you. and by dream, i mean nightmare. of grilled cheese with bacon and honey burt’s bees.

you are my sunshine – as performed by my father

my dad almost died when i was eleven. he had a twenty five percent chance of beating the cancer surrounding his lymph nodes and crawling up the sides of his neck. found like an egg in a nest on my mom’s patio one evening after dropping me off. i was sitting on the concrete. they were touching. divorced, they never touched. it was nice to see. twenty five percent. a fighting chance, but not much of one. i’m not really sure how he did it. there was one night deep into his sickness when they called in the family. he was too sick, too think, couldn’t make it home from chemo. or something. the majority of that year is darkness and fuzz. but i remember my mom being on the phone with the doctors and refusing to go to the hospital. she wouldn’t bring me. i think i begged. she wouldn’t let me go. i remember my dad telling me years later that not being able to say goodbye to me was the thing that kept him going. i’m tired of saving men’s lives.

traveling soldier – the dixie chicks

i told my friend katie in high school that this was my favorite song. shocking from the girl who attempted to stage a walkout in sixth grade to protest the war in iraq. from the girl who graffitied pieces of mother theresa and quotes from ghandi on street signs. from the girl who generally cared little for the government and it’s military. but it made me cry and i loved it for that. for a teenage girl, crying didn’t come easy to me and i desperately needed that release. something about the hope, the loneliness hit me. fast forward seven years to the girl dropping off a soldier and kissing him a kiss to last a year as he patrolled the deserts of a far away land. to the girl driving away as songs of traveling soldiers play over the radio. shocking from the girl who attempted to stage a walkout in sixth grade.

thank you for reading and apologies for missing days one and two. good thing my habit is starting today (:

love always, sarah.


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