"You can skip this song, honey," I said as the first few piano notes came out of the speakers. It's my playlist, I like all the songs on it, but some are more mood-specific than others.
"No," he replied, and my mouth fell open. I can't remember him ever refusing to skip a song before. In fact, I often have the impression he's not hearing them completely, like the music and our singing in the car is just background noise for his non-stop brain, which is okay by us. The kids and I sing. We do it for ourselves, because we like singing; it's okay if he's daydreaming while we do it.
"What do you mean, 'no?' It's a sad song, I don't wanna hear it right now," I countered, sure that he would shrug and comply this time. Why would it matter to him that much what we listen to?
"I like this song," he said mildly. "I like to hear you sing it," and I felt myself blush. Still, after sixteen years of knowing each other, he can bring the hot flush to my cheeks with the simplest of compliments.
I was stunned. Of course I have my own favorite songs to sing, the ones I really feel in my heart, and seem the best suited to my vocal range and style. And the ones that have a nice easy warm-up range, and the ones that really challenge my pitch and control. I feel like I'm a decent singer, for the most part not unpleasant to listen to, and I love it so much I had to get over my fear of singing in front of others in order to get my "fix" when other people are in my car with me or while I was in the hospital. I had to learn to let strangers hear me sing, but I mostly sing for myself.
I guess it's not always background noise for him, though. Sometimes, he's really listening, enjoying my voice. I was pleased as punch about it. "Oh," I said with my shy smile. "Okay." So we let it play, Adele's sadly defiant "Someone Like You," and I made it as good as I could make it. Who wouldn't love a man who loves to hear you sing?
In the next few months, Medicare will become part of my life. This is one of those milestones I had hoped never to reach. I wasn't supposed to stay disabled and on Disability benefits long enough to qualify for Medicare. I was supposed to have completely recovered and gone back to work by now, in that secret inner progress chart of my control-freak life. I am disappointed, nervous, worried, and hopeful all at once. How much paperwork will this involve? How much will it complicate my private insurance benefits? Could this possibly result in my having more or better benefit coverage than I had with just private insurance? Or could this possibly relegate my private insurance to a secondary role with fewer benefits? I have a lot of research to do.