Last summer, while my Uncle Ted was lying in the hospital for weeks recuperating from surgery. I found myself listening to one piece of music on my iPod. Repeatedly. Every time I walked the half-mile back and forth from the BART station I would play the album, In the Name of Love Africa Celebrates U2. And not just any song. But the title song, “Pride (In the Name of Love).”
I don’t know why this song became my personal favorite for thinking about my Uncle Ted. Not because he would have liked it. He and I never talked about music. I don’t even know if he ever listened to music or had a favorite genre, band, instrument or composer. More than likely, he wouldn’t have heard of U2 or the Soweto Gospel Choir that sang the piece that moved me to tears every time I listened. But that didn’t matter because it was my song to him.
Now that we are approaching the year’s anniversary of his death, I find myself afraid to listen to it. Because when I did last summer with such dedication, he was still alive and we still had hope.