Last week, I mentioned that every Thursday we are presented with a hurdle which always seems much bigger than any other time of the week. I ended the post by saying that I couldn’t think of anything else that could possibly be put before us; that we must have faced everything by now.

I was wrong.

Yesterday was just another day – in my new normal, that is. Sorrow and saddness waiting on the edge, waiting for an opening to come crashing in and take hold of me. For most of the day, I did quite well. However, in the late afternoon, at work, the edges started to fall away and I began to lose control of my fascade. Tears welled, numerous times. A lump formed in my throat. But I wasn’t as weak as I have been and I managed to beat the blues away.

At home, in the early evening, I came to the computer and words rolled around in my mind. Words for a post for this blog, telling of how we got through a Thursday without a huge hurdle. I didn’t write the post though, and I suppose it was just as well, because this week the hurdle was put before us late in the day. And it was quite unexpected.

There was a chain of events. Just small things, but when you group them together, it becomes a lead up to heartbreak.

Daniel said something, I can’t even remember the words, but I found myself leaving my chair and walking towards the answering machine. Without thinking, I leaned forward and pressed a button – Greeting. I heard the recorded message that usually plays when the answering machine switches on. I pressed “Greeting” again. An instant later, I heard Barry’s voice. He sang a message as clear as if it was yesterday:

Hey, how ya going?
Sorry you couldn’t get through.
Leave…ya name…and ya number,
and we’ll get back to you.

This time it was his voice. I know that without a doubt. I sobbed. I sobbed for my son. I sobbed for opportunities lost. I sobbed for the laughter of that day, which I’ll never hear again. I sobbed for the happiness that has been ripped away from us. I sobbed because I needed to hear his voice so much, yet hearing it broke my heart. I sobbed because I miss him so much. Then, I had to listen to it again so that I could reprogram the machine to play the other message (the safe message)…so I sobbed some more, and this time Gary joined me.

What’s in a message? In this case, everything. The memories of the day we recorded that message came flooding back. Barry sang the message a number of times, trying to get it just right. He even sang it with Gary playing the guitar in the background, but that didn’t work out well because they weren’t in time with each other. Finally, I remember Barry shooing us from the room so that he could sing the words in privacy. That’s the message I heard on the machine tonight. That’s the voice I miss. That’s the boy I love.