Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kristy is Still Teaching.

I sang a solo in church today. My second solo ever, the first being at Jason's funeral. Jason is Kristy's cousin who passed away in August after a long battle with cancer. It's a very sad thing to be such a slow learner that it takes the loss of two loved ones in one year to force you to get over yourself and just share your testimony through song already. But hey, it's all about progress. I'm doing it now.

Still, in spite of everything I get so nervous right beforehand, sitting in the pew waiting for it to be my turn in the program. And then I get so annoyed with myself and pray that Heavenly Father will forgive my pride and help me to remember What It's All About, because guess what: singing isn't about how your voice sounds. Not really. Singing a spiritual song in a spiritual setting is about sharing the spirit. What a concept, huh?

Singing at Jason's funeral was one of the most spiritual experiences I've had in a very long time. Here's why.

Kristy was just a year my junior. She was a mother, and my contemporary and friend, and her loss was very difficult. She also had absolutely no fear of singing in public (well, she had no fear period), because she "got it." It took me forever to see that, that she got it, and that's why she was always singing at every opportunity. She loved people and she loved sharing, but I was so jealous of her courage I couldn't see it. And when she passed...she sort of let me know how ridiculous I was being, in her loving, well-intended, straight-forward way. And I vowed I'd be better. I vowed I'd get over myself and share whatever I had to share, such that it may be. And then I never got around to it.

And then Jason died. And it was really really time to get over myself. I wanted to sing at his funeral. I wanted to do something; I wanted to do it for Jason, just for him, so he'd know how much I love him. So I told everyone I wanted to sing, and they were all like, "You sing?" Heh. And I was like, "Yeah, I do. Don't tell anyone."

So I pulled out this song I was going to sing with Kristy when she was alive but I moved before we could pull it together. And I called her mom, Aunt Ann, and asked her to accompany me. And we got together and practiced. I practiced and practiced, and in the meantime, while I wasn't practicing, I was crying enough to give myself a sinus infection. So guess what happened next. Yes, I lost my voice. Not completely, just enough that you wouldn't recognize me on the phone and my voice was all husky and scratchy.

But none of that mattered. (Actually, it probably worked out for the best - I totally had that Phoebe sexy voice thing going.) When I got up to sing - after praying so hard, with Aunt Annie's lectures ringing in my ears about how the anxiety is a tool that you can use to bring yourself closer to Heavenly Father through prayer - Kristy came with me. I stood up in front of all those people and I felt her courage steal through me, that courage I'd always admired (envied) from my seat in the pews. I could almost feel her arms around me. She was right there. And I wasn't nervous, and I sang with a determination and composure that really, honestly was not my own.

That was an amazing experience. I was so thankful and exhilarated to be a participant. I knew right away I wanted to be part of that again.

I think Kristy let me fly solo today. She must have been busy. Or maybe it's that she's totally the kind of person to push the baby bird out of the nest. :-) That is so Kristy. Anyway, I did it. And it totally wasn't a perfect "performance," but I felt the spirit. And other people seemed to, also. And that is good enough for me.


Kristy's Family and Friends: said...

Way to go! Way to conquer your fear! That is exactly how Kristy was, you are so right. Fearless.

Verlee said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing your experience!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad for you! I like the way Kristy is still pushing us along.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. In a selfish way, I feel like your message is for me. I've had songs in my heart, that I've wanted to let out, but have been fearful. My daughter has asked me to join the choir with her, but not having the perfect voice has kept me from this. I'm hopeful I can put my fears behind me.