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Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. - Isaiah 49:13
I grew up in a family who loves to sing. We all love singing in church, harmonizing with each other on all of the hymns, and we even love singing at home at the drop of a hat. We are literally a real life musical. If someone says something that reminds any of us of a song, we all break into that part of the song and then be done and go on with conversation. Aaron always got a kick out of this. Growing up, when we were at church, we would all try to take different parts on the song to harmonize with each other. My sister, Lisa, and I would actually take turns with the parts. One verse, I would sing soprano and she would sing alto. The next verse, we would switch. We both loved singing alto better, so that made it fair. We all just loved to sing.
Aaron loved to sing as well, but rarely sang loud enough for anyone to hear him. I remember when we first got married, we were having our first 'Family Night' and we got the hymn book out and we sang a song together. If I remember correctly, I think we sang 'Families Can Be Together Forever'. Aaron sang loud enough for me to hear him and I can't even express how much I loved it. He was insecure about his singing. He had been told in the past that he couldn't sing, so he didn't like to sing loud enough to be heard. Well, no matter what Aaron thought he sounded like, hearing him sing was always music to my ears and it always brought joy to my soul. He did sing along with the radio often and if I strained my ears and he didn't notice, then I could hear him sing and I loved it. I would love to be able to hear him sing again.
After Aaron and I got married, he was always encouraging me to join the ward choir at church. Even though I grew up in a family that loves to sing, I just wasn't interested in being in the ward choir. He never stopped encouraging me to join.
Well, a little more than a month before Aaron passed away, I finally joined the ward choir. I only attended a couple of practices before Aaron was gone... I never even had a chance to perform with the ward choir while he was here.
Once Aaron passed away, I stopped being interested in singing. I joined in on the songs at his funeral, but besides that, I had no interest in singing. I would still sing little fun songs to Aaron Jr. in the car, but singing at church became a spectator thing for me. Sometimes, the tune would get the better of me and I would start to hum along, but I always stopped myself because I just wanted to listen. Singing always brought me joy and part of me just didn't want to feel that joy, so I deprived myself of singing because I could still enjoy the music and words even if I wasn't participating.
All year, my mom has tried to pass me hymn books to encourage me to sing, but I would either put them away or just hold them and read along. I don't know why I chose not to sing, but I think it had something to do with finally giving in to Aaron's pleas to join the choir and then he was taken. I think I felt like I didn't deserve to feel the joy I felt from singing the hymns anymore. No matter how much I wanted to sing, I didn't let myself.
Well, yesterday, my mom was speaking in church, so we went to listen to her. A few of my siblings came as well and I sat next to my sister, Lisa. During the first song, she put the hymn book over in front of me to let me share with her. I resisted, but she insisted. I finally started to hum the alto while she sang the soprano. Aaron Jr. was on my lap and once I started humming along, he instantly looked up at me to see where it was coming from. He hadn't heard me sing in church since Aaron passed away. When I saw his reaction, I couldn't believe it. He couldn't stop looking at me. I didn't realize throughout this year that I was setting the wrong example for Aaron Jr. So, once I realized that he was surprised to hear me, I decided to sing the words instead of just humming. So, I started singing the words. At that moment, he looked at my mouth and just stared at my mouth for so long as I sang the words to 'All Creatures of our God and King'. It brought tears to my eyes as I felt the spirit and felt joy that Aaron Jr. was getting to hear his mom singing praises unto the Lord.
The same thing happened on the next song. Once I started singing, he instantly looked and stared at my mouth for a while. It was heartbreaking for me looking back on this year and knowing the example I was setting. That song was 'I Stand All Amazed'. The emotions overtook me on that one.
It has just been so difficult for me to sing this year. I guess I felt like I had to deprive myself of some of the things that brought joy. I was so devastated that Aaron was gone, so I desprived myself of certain joys that were in my control.
Aaron Jr. has recently started singing a few little one liners from songs on Sesame Street and shows like that. I have been so proud to hear him trying to sing and it has caused me to want to sing with him. I know for a fact how much Aaron enjoyed singing and I know he would be so proud if his son grew up singing and enjoying to sing. I plan to be a better example in this.
From now on, I plan to sing in church. I want to feel the spirit that comes from it.
For my soul delighted in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. - Doctrine and Covenants 25:12
I love you, Aaron. My soul delights in the song of your heart...
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