“I’m sorry Ma’am; there was nothing more we could do.”
The beeps and bustle of the hospital came to a sudden stop as reality sunk in. Kieran is dead, a sudden heart attack. A silent ringing deafens me as the doctor continues to explain how her heart stopped as she reached the emergency room. It was her time.
Just yesterday Kieran and I were sitting on the porch of her hundred-year-old house, drinking coffee and playing our usual tunes. La Vie En Rose was always our favorite, having been a percussionist myself and Kieran on winds, we played this piece together often. She rocked the trumpet just like Louie Armstrong and I played the guitar and piano. Her voice dominated the session.
My face is numb, devoid of emotion, as the doctor leads me to her gurney. I have a few minutes before she is taken to the hospital morgue. What do I say? What is there to say? Over fifty years of friendship, heartaches, family crises and laughter more than anything else. All I can think about is to hum the tune we played well over a thousand times, ten thousand times, on her front porch. The same front porch she grew up in, the same porch I spotted her playing the trumpet for the first time that prompted me to play music. The same porch where I strummed my first guitar strings on a cracked Fender my mother bought at a garage sale when I was twelve.
As I stand over her body I open my mouth but no words come out. Tears stream down my cheeks when I start humming La Vie En Rose. I close my eyes and see Kieran smiling, blowing that trumpet so beautifully that people driving by her house pull over their cars to listen. As the notes push through my cracked hums, I realize this is the last time I will hum this tune. The last time I listen to this song with happiness, now that it has turned into a farewell tribute to my best friend, my life-long friend and sister. It hurts to hear it. It hurts to open my eyes and see Kieran lying there, lifeless. It hurts to know that she and I will never play this song again.