Yesterday was a tough day. I had intended to write a post while the boys were at football, but just before they left I got a text message. A friend I love dearly is seriously ill and has days to live. She is the same age as me and we have been through a lot together. I knew she was ill - of course I did - but I had no idea this would happen. So soon. I spent some time walking round a bit lost. Then I cried. A lot. When I thought I was done it started again and eventually I had to ask Hubbie to not rush home as I didn't want the boys to see Mummy so upset.
Things aren't so easy at the moment. I have a lot I want to say, but it is all too soon. When in doubt I turn to music so I'm doing that now. For my beautiful, wonderful, talented friend. The last time we saw each other we chatted, made jokes and played music. All the things we love.
So for now I can only think in terms of the music we shared and loved. Forgive me if the words don't make much sense.
Prince - Starfish and Coffee:
Once we were at a conference in Islington and we went for brunch afterwards. Soraya ordered pancakes with maple syrup, banana and bacon. She declared them, "not that bad," and I surmised that it was her pregnancy hormones talking.
Norah Jones - Thinking aboout you:
Soraya phoned me one day to tell me she had some news. She had breast cancer and had wanted to tell me in person, but she wanted me to know. I saw her soon after and throughout the treatment we spoke regularly. Even if we didn't meet up, she was in my thoughts. We joked about going shopping for wigs together. She always gave time to talking about my stuff, however mundane it was in comparison. Having said that she did not forgive me for going to see Norah at Ronnie Scotts without her last Autumn.
Shakespeare's Sister - Stay:
Whatever happened we were there for each other. When she was given the all clear 5 years after a breast cancer diagnosis we walked the Moonwalk together. At the beginning when they said 'think about who you are doing this for' we held each other and cried. She was my reason - she was there with me. We talked non-stop for around ten hours and still had plenty to say to each other. I don't know anyone else I could do that with.
David Bowie - Lazarus:
I remember how devastated I felt when a man I didn't know and had never met died two years ago. His music has been with me my whole life and the idea that he was gone just filled me with sadness. When I spoke to Soraya she expressed exactly the same emotions. As 2016 progressed we shared our angst at how terrible a year it was turning into. 2017 had to be better surely ? It wasn't. When we last spoke she told me she just wanted to get the year over so that we could start a new one and look to the future. I had no idea she would not be part of it.
Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On:
This is how I want to think of Soraya - in the studio playing tunes she loved. That and being the DJ for Cheeky in the Chapel, the fundraiser she hosted for Radio Lewes and the Oyster Project. The excitement as she introduced songs by artists she had just discovered and I shared music with her that I had fallen in love with.
In the end I will remember her through music. That and her sign off when we spoke on the phone - lots of love.