The picture is of my dad sitting at the piano and singing. I'll get a picture of my mom and put it up there, too. The runner on top of the piano is fabric my mother wove on her loom. The piano was the soul of our home. It really means a lot to have this piano with me. When I was very small, my mom played piano, and I played cello. I was so tiny we could fit together on the piano bench back to back.
I would be upstairs in my bedroom reading, or playing with my toys, when up through the floor I would hear the piano. Mom playing Bach. Mom playing Beethoven. Suddenly, I'd hear the accompaniment part for whatever sonata or concerto I was working on. Instantly, I was on my feet, screaming at the top of my lungs, "Wait! Wait! Wait for me! You can't play that without me!" Thunder down the stairs, race around the corner, snatch my cello from the floor. "Wait for me."
My mom, frowned at me. "But, I was just practicing this."
"Too bad, Mom. You can't practice that without me."
She would think it over and sigh. "Oh, all right."
And then we would play together.
This happened every day, for years and years when I was little. Before my mom died, she told me she would sit down at the piano, look up toward my bedroom, laugh maniacally, then start the music and wait for me to start yelling. The whole time I was banging around upstairs, she was at the piano laughing. Mom always managed to keep a straight face when I got in the room, though. It never dawned on me that she was deliberately calling me to play music with her. But she was, every single day. All that love, all that laugher, all of that joy is in that piano still. I can feel it in every note I play.
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