Jon brought music into my life. He had a guitar with him the night we met. Within minutes of being introduced he asked me to sing for him. I have no idea why, but I actually did. I never sing in front of anyone unless it’s in a group or possibly if I know them really well.
On our first date, as we were leaving the movie theater he belted out Little Mermaid’s Kiss the Girl. I was equal parts delighted and mortified. That was just the first of many many times he embarrassed me by singing loudly in public places.
I was pretty sheltered musically. I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything outside of Christian music growing up. I connected to the words of songs, but not necessarily the music. It left me with relatively tepid feelings towards music in general. But for Jon, songs, melodies, and rhythms were woven into the fabric of his being. He could find a song in anything. Car alarms, blinkers, dishwashers, anything that gave off a regular beat he couldn’t help but to find a song that fit and sing it. I used to say he had music Tourettes, in the middle of conversations or silence he would randomly burst out into song that may or may not have anything to do with what was going on or being said.
This past year or so the amount of music in our lives grew exponentially as he began to make a career out of his passion. Nearly every day involved him learning, practicing or writing a song. Sometimes he would repeat the same song for days and days before he was satisfied he could perform it. I can’t tell you how many songs I hear in his voice as opposed to the original singer. Adele, Frank Sinatra, Justin Bieber, Billy Joel, Rascal Flatts, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias… the file of his performance songs is massive. That’s what makes this process even harder. I can’t escape his singing. Because he sang from such a wide variety of artists and genres his songs are everywhere. I went to lunch with my mom last week and Piano Man came on in the background. He sang that one quite a bit, it was one of the most commonly requested songs. The weekend before he passed he told me that when he sang it last he changed the words to poke fun at his friend who was bartending. It was all I could do to keep from crying right then and there. There is no safe radio station to listen to in the car, even the country station has a few songs that he sang. I know eventually it will hurt less to hear the music he sang. But it hurts just as much to think eventually I won’t immediately hear his voice when those songs play. I feel like it’s fading already.
Jon filled my life with music. He sang to me constantly. Our lives were wrapped up in his dreams of growing his music career. But now his voice has been silenced. He won’t leave songs on my voicemail. He won’t teach our children how to play guitar. He won’t embarrass me by singing happy birthday in an opera voice in the middle of a nice Italian restaurant. He won’t see his dream come true. And now, the music is gone from my life. What little remains only brings pain and sadness.