A while ago I had a nightmare in which my best friend Talema Moyo had died. The sharpness of that pain woke me up and long after I had realized it was just a bad dream – the feeling of loss and regret lingered.
Loss because she has always been there and I mean through the good and the worst… she has been a witness to my life. I remember a character in the movie Shall We Dance who said:
We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”
That character was talking about her marriage but for me those sentiments capture the way I feel about my best friend. I love her beyond words and if she died I don’t know what the hell I would do and although it is selfish of me – I always hope I die first.
I think she has always been the stronger one of the two of us and perhaps she will bear the loss better than I could. I love her because our friendship has always been about goodness.
In a world where so much bad happens, our friendship has come to represent all that is precious and beautiful. And being the flawed person that I am (who has committed more than her fair share of wrongs) our friendship represents the good in me because she brings it out -always.I would truly be lost without her.
Besides the feeling of loss, the dream invoked in me feelings of regret because I felt like she hadn’t really known how much I loved her. It was why her death had hurt so much because it seemed too soon, too sudden and there were things I felt I had to say but in the dream it was too late and she was already dead.
These were things I would have to say in her eulogy at her funeral but she wouldn’t be alive to hear them. So I hope to never give her a eulogy, no. I will say what needs to be said now. I will say it while I still can.
It was her birthday on the 26th of February and I stayed up preparing a recording for her. I sang a song for her to try and express how much she means to me BUT then I never sent it (I have it on my phone).
I didn’t send it to her because I have a terrible voice and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get the song to come out the way it sounded when Bette Milder sang it. The song I sang for her was Wind Beneath My Wings. Considering that my friend has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard so I was ashamed to send that recording where I was sounding less than spectacular.
Because while I may be praised for whatever I have accomplished very few people know that my best friend has been the driving force for about 15 years now.Below are the lyrics of that song and I can relate to every word:
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.
I don’t want to give a eulogy when she dies… I want to say all that needs to be said now. To tell her that she is amazing beyond words, that I know God wanted to convince just how much He loved me by blessing me with her friendship.
I want to say it now before she is no more. That she has believed in me against all odds and that I tire of living up to the high expectations she has for me. I want to say I am indebted to her in ways I could never repay.
And I want to let her know that she is the wind beneath my wings because I am afraid that one day I might wake up and find my nightmare has turned into reality.