The Song Goes On. . . A Deeper Family

As Christmas day came to a close, she sat transfixed, leaning forward, her face turned full into the open bell of the grand piano. Hands clasped, tired body at attention, she listened with every ounce of energy she could muster, working to sift out the sounds of a Chopin nocturne from the hubbub of happy family noises. Sounds that rolled into the room and surrounded her, flung there by the nimble fingers of her 18-year-old great-grandson.

This very piano once belonged to her husband and had filled their home with music every day, sometimes for hours at a time – beautiful music of all kinds, from Beethoven to Sondheim to self-styled hymn arrangements to medleys of 1940’s big band favorites. Music was part of the air we breathed when I grew up in that house. It flowed from the piano, or came through the speakers of a home-built hi-fi set. Whether coming from my father’s large hands on the keyboard, or from the vinyl long-play records my dad regularly checked out of the local music library, we were surrounded with melody.

In our 21st century culture of instant downloads, pocket-sized music machines and oh-so-private listening, it is sometimes hard to imagine living spaces serving as concert halls for entire families, but that is what we enjoyed in our home. I had my own small collection of 45 records, but more often than not, I chose to listen to the music my dad provided.

Please follow me over to A Deeper Family today, for my monthly contribution to that fine space. . . Mom and me in 1947, just before I turned two and my brother Tom was born.

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Comments

  1. I love both the pictures of your beautiful mom, and loved being able to hear the music, instead of trying to imagine it!
    One of the gifts that my cult upbringing gave me, was that of no recorded music being allowed. Which meant that every home I knew had a piano, almost all of them had at least one guitar, and many had other instruments as well. And it was a rare person who couldn’t play an instrument. I was/am an untaught pianist, and played for hours on end, particularly as a teenager – it’s a great outlet for emotional angst, lol! That’s one of the things that I miss, playing music with my family. I miss playing music altogether, because although we have a piano, I very rarely ever play it anymore 🙁
    I am so glad that you had such a good Christmas, and that your mom was able to participate as much as she did in the decisions about where she is to live. These are the redeeming moments of this hard, hard journey…
    Praying for you all often xxxx

    • Ah, dear Donna. I hear the ache for the best parts of your past and I pray that someday you will be allowed to re-engage with it in a healthy, whole way. Thanks for these good words of encouragement, my friend. And New Year’s Blessings to you and yours. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Your writing brought back so many memories for me because we always had music in our house too. Both my parents played piano and loved Big Band and Dixieland records. Those memories are gifts that I cherish. Lovely post.

    • Thanks for stopping in to tell me that, Mary. We listened to a lot of classical music, opera, big bands, Herb Alpert, Canadian Brass – the whole nine yards…a virtual potpourri of sound. It was great fun.

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