It's called "When Will I See You Again" by The Three Degrees. It came out in 1974, and it isn't a song you hear often. And yet, in my family, it always seems to materialize on the radio as the soundtrack to major events. A message from above, if you will.
My mom first noticed it right after her mom died in 1978. At the time, the song was fairly current. Nothing unusual there. It was just a song that reminded her of her mom.
Eight years later, we were driving home from my grandfather's funeral (my mom's dad), and I suddenly noticed my mom was sobbing. And then I noticed the song playing on the radio.
When will I see you again?Through the years we noticed it playing at important moments: the day of my uncle's death ... on my grandma's birthday ... the first time in 15 years that my mom and her sisters had all been together, right as my mom was leaving ... there are more, but you get the idea.
When will we share precious moments?
Will I have to wait forever?
Will I have to suffer and cry the whole night through?
My rational self knows this is probably a case of finding a pattern because we're looking for it. But the timing is always so unlikely. And I, for one, rarely listen to channels that play that kind of music.
On the day Steve left for Mississippi, his dad was on life support in the ICU but we didn't know what had happened, and we didn't know the prognosis.
When I turned on my car radio as I left work the next day, "When Will I See You Again" piped through my speakers. My heart sank.
I knew Steve's dad was gone.