Thursday, January 28, 2010

Her Daughter's Song

I have a special place in my heart for musicians like Ben Folds or even (Lord help me) Elton John, because, like me, they are pianists.

By no stretch of the imagination am I comparing myself to these talented, highly-successful musicians. That would be like comparing myself to Julia Child because we both own a stock pot.

I studied the piano for most of my childhood, and I can read music and play with a touch of grace and flair. However, I can't improvise, I don't understand musical theory, and certainly can't compose anything.

When I became an adult, my parents passed the piano my way, because I would play it. Alas, that has not been the case. It has served as a place to place photographs and collect dust.

Occasionally, I would tell my mother that I wanted to get rid of the thing. Our house is small, and it swallowed up space. She replied, "Well, honey, do what you want. Remember that I bought it with the money mother's inheritance."

No guilt there.

So, it sat in our bedroom for years, lurking in the corner, silent and resentful. We talked about getting rid of it, but the words never sprung into action.

Until, that is,  this weekend. We were in church (A sidebar: Let me tell you why I love my church 1) It's into helping, not smiting 2) It respects my intellect and my need to ask hard questions 3) Politics are never, ever discussed. 4) Hot dish) and I stood up during announcements and said that the piano was available, and free to a good home.

After the service, a woman walked up to me. I've seen her many times, but have not spoken to her at any length. Her daughter plays, and was at the point that she was ready to move beyond a small keyboard. We exchanged phone numbers, and made a plan to meet up.

Yesterday, we dropped the piano off. Just like that,  we could breathe in our own home. The woman called me up, thanking me, and she said she was "wonderful, just wonderful." The phone glowed, I swear it. She was just elated.

It was a beautiful song, her voice.

She added the newest verse, but this song started with my grandmother.

My grandmother gave an inheritance to her only daughter.

Her daughter used this gift to purchase my piano.

And now, in one of those stunningly subtle acts of grace, I, a mother of sons, passed on this gift to another mother, and her cherished, only daughter.

The song continues, and it is sweet.


lisleman said...

I got the piano after our mom passed away - I don't even play but none of my siblings do either. It gets plenty of use from the grandkids though.
good to hear that your piano will be creating music again.

JustJudy said...

The real gift is that you learned to play it. The inheritance will always be a part of you because you can make music on any keyboard. The wood and wires are now in a much better place. I'm glad you have the room. Grandma Neuhaus would be proud.
Love, Mom

Nikia, May and da kids said...

That was pretty sweet of you. We have a piano and I took a year or so when I was 8 and my son took a couple of years when he was 4 and 5. He learned Music theory at that age from a woman in church that charged him $10.00 for 30mins but it turned into 2 hrs of lessons because she felt he was gifted musically.

Then came our "touring" and no more lessons. I bought a used piano just to have it in hopes of my little girl taking lessons one day. That has not happened yet, but my son has taught himself to play by ear and eventually taught himself to read music through HS choir of all places.

I'm thankful to the family who let us buy it for so cheap. I get to hear my son play when he feels like it. It's a good thing. I'm glad you and other people have that talent. It's beautiful to hear it.


erika said...

Your grandma would be so very proud! Proud of the sweet song and proud of all that 'grace and flair' that she passed on to her granddaughter. Now that's some inheritance.

Frau said...

What an amazing gesture you have changed that girls life. Have a wonderful weekend.

michelle said...

This is a beautiful story, Nancy.

Where's your church. I wanna go...

Mrsblogalot said...

Just beautiful!

Ms. Moon said...

I like that!

Bethany said...

oh perfect. This actually just gave me goosebumps.
Good for you.

mmm, hot dish.
I need church.

Daffy said...

Thank you for starting my day (and ending my funk filled week) with a touch of beauty and grace.

Your light shines bright - don't ever doubt that He works through you!

Caution Flag said...

That is such a nice story! One of my sisters and I play but not as well as our mom. Mom still has her piano, but is sad because we all have our own now and no one will want her piano when it needs a new home. They do take up space. Golly.

Corrie Howe said...

Nancy, I'm glad that you found grace in this act. I like the comment above about how you still benefited from your grandmother's inheritance by way of learning how to play the piano.

Stephanie said...

What a lovely story!

Together We Save said...

What a beautiful story... you are truely blessed.

Debbie said...

If this isn't the sweetest post ever! I love that you passed that gift along. What a great gift music is!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I love this post.

I used to play and I regret deeply that I ever stopped.

Years ago, I moved 2 hours away from home and my piano. It came to a point where I had to find a way to move it 2 hours away into a home that didn't have space for it or let my mom find a new home for it.

It ended up donated to a school. I'm happy with that outcome.

But now I wish I had a piano for me to play, for my kids to learn on...

Rebecca said...

Remembering back to your irony post, would it be ironic if your sons both took up the piano and excelled greatly?

What you did was a very generous thing that that family will remember forever!

Mama Zen said...

What a lovely story!

Unknown Mami said...

It's good to give.

Jen said...

Sounds like my church and why I go and actually love it.
So glad the piano found a good home.

Cat said...

Sounds like you have a great place of worship. What a great gift to give to that family.

adrienzgirl said...

You are amazing.

I also have a piano my parents gave me. It collects dust as yours did. It holds fabulous pictures. But alas, no keys are ever massaged. No music ever played.