It Makes a Difference.

Leah | Day #020

Originally uploaded by Geof F. Morris

First, let me provide you a musical setting, friends. This track runs about ten minutes, which is far more time than it will take you to read these meager words, but maybe you’ll get to thinking during the guitar solo. [audio:]

Cindy was 34.

Barry was 29.

Leah was 28.

All of them left us far, far too soon. All of them left us in much the same way—their brains conspiring with their bodies to take them from us long before any of us were ready to see them go. Cindy was my sister-in-law; Noah’s Barry would have been a good friend, I’m sure, had I ever had the chance to make his acquaintance. Leah was an acquaintance, and her husband Jamie is definitely a friend. All three of these men now share the same grief—a lifetime that was to be lived together now suddenly lived apart.

If you aren’t familiar with Over the Rhine, well, I’m sorry for you. The music that should be playing through your computer is, I think, wholly apt for this setting. The lyrics are reprinted, below, in their entirety, with my emphasis:

it makes a difference
when you walk through a room
with that worrisome smile
road weary perfume

but this isn’t the place
and it isn’t the time
for this beautiful delusion
that is robbing me blind

I want to know
I want to know
will it make a difference
when I go

it makes a difference
that I’m feeling this way
with plenty to think about
and so little to say

except for this confession
that is poised on my lips
I’m not letting go of God
I’m just losing my grip

I want to know
I want to know
will it keep you guessing
when I go

what is a love
if the love’s not my own
this is not my home
this is lonely
but never alone

I just want to hold you
in my gaze for awhile
so I can remember
every line around your smile

then I want to know
I want to know
will it make a difference
when I go

For those left behind, picking up the pieces, let me answer the question: YES.