• Alyse

Back to Life

I got a tattoo this weekend, and you've all seen it by now and maybe even heard what it can do. It's pretty amazing. Ask me about it when you see me, I'll be more then happy to show it to you and talk about it, maybe even cry about it...

This little soundwave of Mom's voice singing to me in one of the last messages she would leave on my phone, during what was probably the hardest period of her entire life, our lives together, months before she died. A little happy birthday song to her CeCe, me.

Shit. This post is going to be harder then I might have realized, and umm... Beautiful Editor, I might need more time.

That I have this little voicemail leftover from years ago when she passed is a small miracle. I know plenty of others though who have kept voicemails, videos, audio recordings of their long lost loved ones. It's heart breaking to listen to, to see, to witness. For about 12 seconds my Mom is alive again, and not only alive, but happy. She's so happy that she's singing to her little girl, the same little girl who's apprehensive to pick up the phone on her birthday to a Mom that's nearly lost her mind, and her way in life. This little girl, her CeCe, is so confused that on her twenty-fifth birthday she sits and stares at the ringing iPhone in her hand not daring to answer. Crying, even, that she can't find it in herself to hear whatever it is that her mother has to say to her on her birthday.

I remember that birthday.

After Mom's call finally went silent, and the little tone that followed shortly after chimed that there was a voicemail to be either listened to, ignored, or possibly even deleted I made the decision to hear her out. At least when it was a voicemail, whatever she had to say would eventually end and no argument could be had, and I could deal with the decision to call her back later. Probably not ever actually doing that. So I listened, and she began to sing, something she hadn't done in years.

When was the last time I heard my mother sing?

I smiled, and I cried. And I've come back to this message of hers time and time again over the past nearly 7 years since she left it on the little iPhone I don't have anymore. First it was on my iPhone, then on another as I stood in the store making absolute sure that the messages on my phone would be transfered. Then I got yet another new phone and panicked when they said "We can't do that"... but you did last time?! Why not again?? I need this!! You can't take the only thing I have left of my mother that actually makes me happy. You don't get to do that!!! So, Shawn ripped Mom's voice off of my phone. The voice that had developed a little skip at the end of the message from either over use or the first transfer of phones. That little skip devestated me and showed me that time really does slowly destroy everything and eventually I would lose even this small piece that I had left of her. I began copy/pasting this message to every cloud, hard drive, external hard drive, CD... etc. that I could.

And now here I am. Mom's voice imprinted on my skin. Eventually time will destroy me as well, but for now, thanks to technology, I have this last piece of her that will stay with me for the rest of my lifetime. Maybe some day when I'm old and wrinkled it will lose it's ability to sing to me the way that it does now, but even then I can look at this piece of Mom and tell you exactly where she inhales before she starts to sing and exactly where she tells me that she loves me, right at the end. I can hear the words in my mind without even using the app it's designed for, just by looking at the wave pattern and knowing that despite the fact that it's not really her standing next to me, it's her still. It's a piece of her that she left behind just for me. My reminder that life was beautiful once. My reminder of exactly why I'm doing all that I'm doing and why, my Beautiful Editor, I need more time to write this book.

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