if i fall you’re going down with me

the sun was shining, i was speeding, the air was cool and i was in a great mood. sunshine makes jodis happy.

i turn off the main drag in glencoe, about 15 minutes from sister #2’s house (she lives about an hour away from me) and being flipping through radio stations. since it’s sister #3’s car there are a lot of country stations tuned in.

landing on one, i hear jaycie’s song. it’s called “if i fall” by the dixie chicks. she’s been in love with this song forever. when she was really young she called it “Fee Fi Foe.” because she couldn’t pronounce the words correctly. “fee fi foe mommy, fee fi foe, pllleeeaaassseee” she was always begging.

of course, we all know the song by heart. it’s so adorable, her adoration of the dixie chicks. jaycie even told her new nextdoor neighbor that her name was natalie (because her favorite chick is natalie). often times jaycie will start jumping up and down, dancing around saying, “i’m natalie, i’m natalie.”

so “if i fall” is on the radio, the sun in shining and i’ve turned the radio up so loud i can feel it in my ass and chest. i’m doing the car dance and singing along at the top of my lungs. i round the corner, the cornfields in front of me all nice and green, and i start to cry.

big, fat salty tears roll down my cheeks and my voice cracks as i am singing. i cover my mouth because i can’t believe i am crying.

almost instantly i know why.

in my mind i am seeing jaycie at the wedding last week. she’s wearing and adorable pastelly dress with little string straps. black sandals, that don’t match but that she wanted to wear. she’s wearing my daisy headband like it’s a tiara and her “beautiful necklace” which is a string of white beads that my mom’s ID badge for work came attached to. clutched in her hand is her purse. it’s pink with black trim and silver stars, on the front is a puffy silver star with silver trim. the girl’s all about style.

we’re on the dance floor at the wedding and the red-haired cutie dj puts on the dixie chicks’ “earl had to die” and says, “this is for jaycie.”

then the song starts, “mary anne and wanda were the best of friends. . . ” and jaycie’s body explodes with joy. she is so excited she doesn’t know what to do first. so she jumps up, twirls around, runs in a circle, grabs my hand and then twirls under my arm.

she dances frentically for the entire length of the song. such delightful spasms of joy really didn’t register me in my drunken stupor last week. but it call came flooding back today as i belted out “if i fall you’re going down with me, going down with me baby if i fall.”

because as i was singing that song and remembering that dance last week, i was filled with so much love for her. i was so moved (and still am because as i type these lines tears are trailing down my face) and so full that all i could do was cry. just driving, crying and trying to sing.

so full, even i was amazed at my capacity for love. i am in awe.

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