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18 April 2008


i don't know why, but i feel like i've been on the edge of tears for a few days now. it's not really that i've been sad, but it's just, well, something seems like it's always there, just under the surface. i've been learning to deal with it, learning to not let it take me over, but sometimes i feel like i'm about to break. it's momma.

josh and i picked up a few things from his parents house the other night and moved some of it into storage. a lot of it is files that we need to keep, but don't necessarily need in the apartment, and some of his old mementos and things that his mom was hanging on that we now get. but we also picked up our guitars. i've had my main guitar with me since we moved, but his 12-string acoustic was still there, along with my inheritance: my mom's acoustic-electric (or maybe it's just a hollow-body electric) guitar.

i haven't played her (my) guitar in ages. i used to play it all the time. then i got my acoustic guitar and started using that to play and lead worship. my inheritance is very old, and is in need of repair. it needs new strings, the electronics need a little tweaking, and the pegs need some oiling. i need to take it into the shop. but i can't seem to bring myself to do it. if something were to happen to it, i would be crushed.

now, i know it's just a thing. i realize that. i know it won't bring my mom back. i know it's not really that important. but at the same time, it's not just a thing. and it is important. it was my mom's guitar. it was what she told my father to give to me when she died. in a way, for me, it's an extension of her. it's a part of her and it's a part of me. in a way, it feels like one of the last connections i have to her.

i pulled it out tonight and started to play. i had to stop 'cause the thing would not stay in tune for more than three seconds, and the sound of an out-of-tune guitar is for me what nails-on-a-chalkboard is for most people. i wish i could play it. i wish it would work the way it was designed to. but that's not what i wish the most.

i wish i could have heard momma play. i wish i had vivid memories of her and that guitar, of her playing worship songs and hymns for us. maybe she did play for me once or twice, but i was so young that i probably don't remember. or maybe it was just too infrequent and i wasn't really interested at the time. i wish i had memories of her and her guitar like i have of her singing in church. i wish they were so real that i would have a hard time believing she wasn't right there.

whenever we sing hymns in church, or some of the older praise choruses, i can hear my mom singing them, mostly the harmony. it's so vivid it's as if she's next to me, singing in my ear, holding my hand and smiling at me. when we sing those songs i am almost always moved to tears. sometimes i fight them, sometimes i let them come on through. i miss her greatly. and it's always right there, below the surface, waiting for something to make a crack for it to come through. that was tonight when i started to play.

there's so much i wish my mom could see. i wish she could see my love of playing and singing. i wish she could listen to the songs i write and sing them with me over and over. i wish she could hear me play the song she used to sing me to sleep with, and i wish she could hear the new chorus i wrote for it. i wish.

i wish.

one day i'll work up enough courage and have enough peace about taking my mom's guitar in to get repaired/restored. one day. but today is not that day. today is the day that i think about momma and her playing her guitar. i just hope it was as amazing and wonderful as i imagine it would be.

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