I talked to my brother this afternoon. He called amidst the usual household chaos, and I took the phone outside and sat in the hot sun while we chatted. We started talking about his job, since he has just received the okay to start back again part-time. He is incredibly lucky that his employer held his position open for so long, and that they are willing to work with him to come up with a part-time schedule. Jon is a technician who repairs medical imaging equipment such as CT scans and MRIs. We were laughing about a co-worker of his who is not terribly bright and who has obviously gotten to where he is by faking it, since he doesn't understand the basics of electricity and physics, such as Ohm's law (current between two points is proportional to the voltage and inversely proportional to the resistance between them - esoteric if you have no need to know it, vital if you work with wires and sparky things). It was really funny and it felt good to sit in the sunshine and laugh.
He had called me to let me know that he has finished putting together a selection of music for me. When I visited back in March, we were talking about the days when he came home from the Navy, and how the music he used to play back then had become a kind of soundtrack for my memories of that time. The subject came up because for some reason he mentioned an album that he used to play a lot back then: Somewhere In Africa by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, and I realized I had not thought of that album in probably fifteen years or more. So many memories came washing over me, and he got so excited to hear that this album had some meaning for me. He said that he would make a copy of it for me and send it to me. Later, after I had returned home, he asked me to name anything else I could remember from that time, so that he could add it to the mix, and he would add some of his own favorites.
Turns out he made me three DVDs full of music, which means he has quite possibly put together thousands of songs for me. I have heard Jon say, more than once, that his two great loves are music and motorcycles, and since he is barred from getting on his bike for at least another year - because of the seizures - he has spent a lot of time immersed in his music collection. I think this was a good project for him to have while he's had to spend so much time at home.
It occurred to me that while some of the songs he is giving me are, as I said, part of the soundtrack of my memories of him, the rest may well become my soundtrack for these memories. The songs I listened to while he fought for his life. The songs I listened to while I wrote my quilting articles and bitched about my blood pressure meds, while he endured radiation and chemo drips. I'm curious now to know what that soundtrack will be, and whether I'll still be able to listen to it when my heart is broken.