Thursday, 27 February 2014


It's crazy busy here this morning. The plumber is in doing so quick fix up work so we can put in a toilet. The tile crew is dropping off tile and grout so the flooring can start tomorrow or Monday. There is a framer coming to repair damage done by the electrician. Jim is going to be working on framing in the shower today. Rosa is coming this afternoon to clean up. That's a lot of coming and going.

Fortunately for me I have Jim. He will handle most of the interactions today. While I have to let people in and out, make decisions and answer questions, Jim will direct most of the work, the hardest part of which will most likely be keeping me out of the way. He is already in with the plumber, working hard on getting the toilet mounted. I haven't had a toilet for a week, so this is a watershed day.

Last night Jim and I went out to karaoke. This is one of his favourite activities; he loves to sing. The love of music and singing runs in our family. My older brother still plays bagpipes, something I did as a teenager along with him. He kept at it while I moved on to other things, like playing the guitar. I love to sing too, something I do often these days, even though my loss of lung function makes it hard for me to sing with the power and duration I used to have; I can't seem to finish a whole song. Peter sings in a chorus and barbershop, and my brother Matthew has a great voice too.

Even though I did not sing karaoke last night, at least not on stage and certainly not a full song, I sang along with many of the other singers, including Jim, enjoying the moment as I could and taking some pleasure in reaching the odd high note. I would get about halfway through a song, and then rest. Jim asked my why I didn't go on stage and sing, and I used a quote he had given to me earlier that evening. We were talking about his life partner, Eric, who died a number of years ago. When Eric was very sick, they talked about death, something the gay community had seen plenty of in the AIDS years. They talked about Eric's increasing infirmity and inability. Eric said to Jim, "When you can no longer climb the mountain, you can get the same excitement by looking at it."

Remembering what I could do, enjoying what I can do, seeing the beauty and wonder in the mountain without climbing it, that's what I was doing last night. I may not sing on stage, but I can still sing along. When I can no longer sing at all, I will sing in my heart.

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