Voice Requiem

This is a post that I would’ve never wanted to write.  But I have to.  I remember when I was a little girl (about 4 or 5 years old), I used to look through a window in an apartment where we lived in New York.  I remember observing the sunset and I would sing.  I sang songs that I had never heard before; they just came to my mind and I would just sing them.  I liked singing for fun and just when I was inspired.

I don’t know exactly when or who discovered that I could sing; but all I know is that I hated singing for other people.  It made me feel awkward, weird, ashamed and I just didn’t like the attention that other people would give me.  All of them would say that I had a beautiful voice and I believed them but I didn’t like to sing for them because it made me feel like a freak.

Most of my school years I practically never told my school mates that I could sing and the few times that I would carry a tune, a couple of my schoolmates would start telling me to keep on singing.  But I wouldn’t.  I hated the critics and I didn’t want to hear people’s opinion about my voice.

So, I just sang for God.  I was still a teenager when I started singing at church.  I hated making mistakes; but everybody still liked to hear me sing.  I knew I could do it well; but I noticed that my voice would get tired easily.  That’s why I took voice lessons and my voice grew in register and volume. I could sing for long periods of time and my voice wouldn’t get hoarse.  My voice teachers were very happy with me.  I was in my early 20’s and I was classified as a coloratura soprano.  I had a 4 octave register with very a fast and agile vocal range.  Bel canto like Donizetti and Rossini was very easy for me to sing. And I liked it but I still just wanted to sing just for God and not for competitions or anything like that.

Years went by and I did sing for the Lord, not as much as I should’ve.  I could’ve done so much more.  But then sickness came.  And with sickness came coughs.  Lots of coughing.  Coughing can damage the vocal chords very badly.  Teaching to kids and talking loudly and excessively didn’t help my voice.

When I moved to Texas, the allergies started.  I had to get a flu shot for a second time because even with a first flu shot I was still getting sick.  My voice got hoarse because of the effort made by talking so much, then the cough came and six months later; it still hasn’t gone away.  I have tried medicines and all I could find; but now I can’t sing anymore.  I can’t sing, not even for fun.  The voice just won’t come out; only air.  It has been too many months of this continuing allergy.  I hope to go to the doctor when I get my health insurance but I don’t know if I will ever sing like I did when I was younger.

I always wondered how would it feel to be like other people who can’t sing a note.  Now I know; and it’s very frustrating.  It’s more frustrating for me because I can hear the music and have the tones inside my head but I can’t sing them.  My voice is gone and I don’t know if it will ever come back.  I miss my voice and I’m losing my inspiration.  Ironically, when I went to “Harvest America” like three weeks ago, I started singing “Amazing Grace” when Chris Tomlin took the stage.  The lady beside me told me that I had a beautiful voice.  I thanked her but then I was sad. I don’t know what she heard but  the worst thing that could happen to a singer is to lose his/her voice.  Then, we can no longer be classified as singers.

Goodbye my voice and I hope you come back soon…also remember to bring back with you my inspiration.

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