07/29/16

Momma’s Gift

It seemed like an ordinary day, when Momma’s piano came to be a fixed piece of furniture in the living room. And isn’t that the way extraordinary things begin….in a quiet manner? I’ve come to understand those events that impact life the most, arrive without a lot of fanfare or drum rolls. They just quietly blend in like they belong.

If mom had many dreams in life, she kept them to herself. You had to be paying attention to read between the lines to know she had a big dream. A dream so big she never thought she deserved it. She struggled with believing she deserved anything special in life. Humble she was. Growing up in a home with little love and lots of discipline, she learned to not expect much and she wouldn’t be disappointed. It was wrong to think she deserved much in life, so she was led to believe.

My five year old self watched, as the old, used, upright piano was placed along one of the walls. I had seen pianos in church and knew what it was……I just didn’t know it was momma’s dream. I didn’t find that out until decades later.

She had six kids and a husband. She had a job at the local cotton mill. And her heart was telling her, there was time for more. There was time for a dream to come true. This was not for selfish reasons, nor for personal gain. It was a dream to serve others and to glorify God, whom she loved with all her heart.

Momma wanted to learned to play the piano. She wanted to be good enough to be the church pianist. A gift she wasn’t sure she was worthy of, but the desire was there. There weren’t too many pianist around and none in our family, on either side.

That may sound strange, but that was way before the electronic keyboards, that stay true  to their advertisements, “anybody can learn to play in a day.”

No…… learning to play that old upright would required many hours of practice. Hours Mom didn’t have.

I know this because, momma never learned to play, momma never became the church pianist but………. I did.

That old upright and I became very good friends. It wasn’t planned, there weren’t any lessons……..the piano was there and it seemed natural for me to sit down and begin the journey. It has spanned decades, many towns and many churches. I’ve heard the compliments and comments “what a gift you have.’’

As we were talking, shortly before mom passed away, I realized I was living the dream she had that day the upright piano came  to our house. Reading between the lines, I was sadden that it was too late for the gift to be hers. She had  watched as she was passed up, and what she wanted was given to her daughter. She never spoke a word of bitterness or self pity. If she ever questioned why, I never heard it.

Perhaps her dream had changed years before. Maybe all that mattered was for the seed in her heart to bloom and she didn’t mind that it was in her child’s life. Every time I play, it is my mom’s dream. Without her dream, there never would have been a piano in the house to catch a little girl’s fascination. Maybe she realized it that day those little fingers sounded out  “Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are.”

Mom’s dream didn’t die, it bloomed somewhere still connected to her heart.

01/7/15

Random memories of December

Before December 2014 becomes more of a blur in my mind, I must tell you some of the wonderfulness I experienced this season.

I was honored to be asked to be the guest pianist  at an annual Community Christmas Candlelight Service. The service was  held at an historical church a few hours away.

The church was beautifully decorated and the candlelight added to the loveliness of the setting.

 

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Although, as you can tell, this piano is not a grand and it has a few years on it, don’t let that fool you.

It was so easy to play and the sound was heavenly. A joy to play and, as I said, quite an honor to be part of the program. It was one of the most cherished highlights of December 2014.

 

This was the year certain members of the family had committed to make DIY gifts. Now I had agreed to this earlier in the year, when I had no idea I would be selling a house and moving.

But it was a no excuse commitment.  What I chose was not the most creative or difficult. I’m almost embarrassed to show you, But just in case you need a quick idea for a DIY gift.

I decorated canvas tote bags. I bought the bags at Hobby Lobby. With a little paint and stenciling,  Ta da ….a personalized bag. I decorated front and back with fabric paint.

 

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The gifts I received in return were so much more creative than a tote bag.

They showed me up big time! Thanks ladies

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An Eternity Scarf. How did she do that! I would have no idea how to start such a project.

 

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A Thankful Jar. Loving this idea and so much to be grateful for.

Love, Love Loving this body butter and chap stick.

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The contents are out of this world. Someone knew peppermint is my favorite scent during the holidays. Other scents were made for other people. Are you impressed? I sure was.

 

And then this…Pink Lady Dried Apple Chips.

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Although the next gift was purchased, not homemade, it was a thoughtful gift indeed.

A dear daughter helping me move in, noticed my hand mixer was just a little outdated. That is putting it mildly. So I got this

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And last, but certainly not least

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What originally. A soup cookbook with a touching letter inside and recipes.

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And even packages of some of the ingredients I will need.

Thanks Ladies!!!  You are all so talented and creative.

So happy to call you FAMILY!