Yes, Music Day comes early this week.
Today would have been my dear friend's twenty-third birthday. Alas, she took her first step beyond the stars on the first of February.
She taught me tactfulness, the joy of being thankful for little things, grace, and patience... so much patience. She was the kind of person who would take pictures of the way the Christmas tree lights were reflecting on her guitar strings, the type of person who would fangirl over Arthur Conan Doyle (before BBC's Sherlock), the type of person who would create a graph explaining why the Canadian holiday calendar is better than the American one based entirely on turkey consumption.
She hated winter. It seems somehow cruel that her last glimpse of this world was in the dead of it. She was relentlessly encouraging and always ready to pray for me, even though usually I was just freaking out over nothing.
She told me once that U2 was one of her favourite bands. I'd heard of them, but never actually heard any of their music until after the last time I saw her alive. I didn't hear this particular song until not long after she died.
Album: No Line On The Horizon
iTunes here; YouTube here.
At the time she told me U2 was her favourite band, I was on my CCM-only kick and I was horrified that she would listen to something like U2 -- they weren't CCM-approved (obviously, this was before my DA days). We actually had quite a falling out over it and I don't know if the rift ever really healed completely -- although we did try to carry on. To some degree we did. Although the last time we really spoke to each other face-to-face, just before we parted, she apologised again for everything. At the time I was taken aback. I had long since forgiven and forgotten, and it actually took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. I sort of dashed off an apology of my own, and she left.
I wish I had taken time to formulate my words more lovingly that day. Not that they weren't loving, but I was distracted and delivered them flippantly. I wish I had tuned everything else out, looked her right in the eye, and told her, 'I've already forgiven you. Quit carrying this burden.'
But I didn't know... no-one ever knows.
At the time she had less than two years left.
I miss her so much my heart literally, physically hurts. I can't count the amount of times I've thought, Hey, I should tell Brittney about this, or I should ask Brittney for her advice -- she'd understand. My comfort is that she is with the Magnificent; the one who had provided her with her love for the literary, her lovely singing voice, her phenomenal photography instinct, her level-headedness and her kindness.
Only love can leave such a mark
But only love
Only love can heal such a scar...
Justified till we die
You and I will magnify