Sunshine

You wouldn’t think they would play “You are my sunshine” at a country concert. Or that it would hit me like that.

There were 3 songs that I sang him. What came into my head quite without thinking. We played For the Beauty of the Earth at his funeral. I heard Hush about a year after he was born, randomly at a concert.  I haven’t heard You are my Sunshine since that night. I haven’t sung it to babies; I sing all sorts of other songs and never that one.

I excused myself immediately, fled into the bathroom and stood there. Gasping. I’d say I wept, and I suppose I cried, but mostly the moment of being right back there, in that room, in those moments, saying hello and goodbye, and it took my breath away.

I have a photo of us in my office. I am singing to him. For years I didn’t like looking at it.  It’s not the pastoral mother singing her baby a lullaby. There is blood, I’m not looking at the camera. IV tubing.I look and indeed am, deathly ill.

And my son is gasping for breath and dying.

All I had to offer is a lullaby. So it’s what I gave him.

I’m sure the song was great. The concert reviews both said it was. My friend seemed to enjoy it.

I wouldn’t know. I was buried in memory. 10 years later it still takes me. 20 years hence it will still be so. He was my sunshine.

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