I got the news on New-Year’s Day.
The secret you’d hidden since Labor Day.
The pain inside you ignored till too late.
You kept to yourself. You chose to wait.
We lived our own lives, not close, not estranged.
Eight years apart, blood strangers.
I last visited you 2 decades ago.
We couldn’t grow apart, but we both had changed.
Did you really give up? Had you just had enough?
Were you lonely inside? Was it easier to hide?
Did you pick the right time to make up your mind?
My heart’s still a mess since your last twelve breaths.
I took time when I could and flew out to help mom
Just about 2 weeks after you dropped the bomb.
Ten years ago, you gave a false alarm.
When you said it this time, we all stayed calm.
We looked through the house and stirred up the dust.
Waded through years of your personal stuff.
The lyrics you wrote sound a lot like my own.
I took them for you because I felt your trust.
I brought my guitar to play by your bed
You knew I was there, you lifted your head.
You called me by name, I heard your voice through the fog.
There was nothing I could do so I played instead.
I worked on your couch with guitar and a pen
As long as I could, I tried to stay till the end.
Finally I left, I had to go home
So this is goodbye from your brother, Ken.
My mother was with my sister when she died. Mom said she awoke for no particular reason, went to Crystal’s room, and watched her take her last twelve breaths. I still have difficulty listening to this song and had greater difficulty recording it. The lyric is sung in two parts because I couldn’t sing a whole sentence without breaking up. Even so, it’s not my best performance, but it was the best I could do. Maybe someday I’ll be able to sing the song without thinking so much about the lyric.