Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The house was too quiet, and hot. She wasn’t used to being home alone. It’s not that she was scared, more that she felt unsettled without him there. She locked all the doors because she was easily startled and got ready for bed. What else was there to do? The fan in the bedroom was necessary due to the excessive heat. It swayed back and forth, pushing hot air over her as she lay on top of the sheet. Her mind was a jumble of thoughts and she wondered if she would ever be able to sleep.
Then she heard it; a voice.
It wasn’t a speaking voice, more like someone singing far in the distance. She couldn’t make out the words or the melody, just a vague sense that someone was singing.
“Maybe one of the neighbors is playing their Victrola. Maybe there’s a party.”
She lay there for a bit longer and the sound never stopped.
“If I turn off that noisy fan, maybe I can hear it better.”
She got up and turned off the fan. It slowly came to a stop and she stood in the warm night air, listening. Nothing.
“I must be losing my mind!” With her nightgown sticking to her damp skin, she turned the fan back on and lay down on the bed.
There it was again! She could just barely hear a voice, singing. As she lay there listening, she grew sleepy and eventually drifted off to sleep.
Her days were filled with work at the shop followed by visiting him in the hospital. She worried: about him, about money, about everything! What would she do after he came home? She had to work but who would take care of him? What if he never came home? Her nights were hot, sweaty and miserable. Her only reprieve came at bedtime when she heard the singing. The music soothed her. Sometimes it sounded like a tenor singing opera. Other times it was more like hillbilly music, something you would hear in the Ozarks, not that she’d ever been there. She only heard it at night as she was trying to go to sleep. She came to look forward to the music; it felt comforting. At first, she worried that she was losing her mind but, eventually, she stopped wondering where the music was coming from and just let it lull her to sleep.
He came home, weak but alive. She managed to find someone to check in on him while she was at work. After work she would hurry home to cook for him and help him in any way she could. Having him back home was wonderful and she slowly stopped worrying about the future. It would take care of itself while she took care of her husband.
You never know where comfort and solace will come from in your time of need. It might be a neighbor or family member who is there for you when you most need them. Or, it might be a fan on a hot summer night, singing you to sleep.