My cell phone buzzed at work the other day. It was a call from my oldest niece, Lyn. I hesitated to answer it because every single time I check my phone, my boss walks in. Cell phones are a no-no at work. But Lyn rarely calls me and I remembered the time when she called and it was an emergency. I decided to be brave (family trumps work after all) and answered.
“Oh, you missed it,” she said. I could tell she was in the car. Probably at a stop light. Should I give her lecture number 232 on cell phone use and driving? Before I started, she said, “Let me get it again.”
She was silent for a moment and all I could hear was traffic noise.
Then she started singing, “Blame it on your lyin, cheatin, cold dead beatin, two-time double dealin, mean mistreatin lovin heart” (Blame It On Your Heart, Howard & Kostas, 1993). I could tell she was singing along with the radio even though I couldn’t hear the music.
And I smiled.
Lyn and I are buddies. We have been since she was born. Many summer evenings we spent sitting on the wall that separates our driveway with the neighbor’s yard eating popsicles. During those times we talked and she shared stories. A lot of stories. As a child, she was cuter than all get out and pretty smart. Or what I liked to call, moldable.
I taught her the words to the Patty Loveless song. She learned them so well she repeated them to her primary teacher when asked what her favorite song was. Oh, good times!
Now, almost twenty years later, whenever she hears the song she’ll call me. It’s become our song. A special connection between two buddies. True, if you don’t know the story you might think our special song is odd. But it makes us smile when we hear it.
And she is still a pretty cute kid.