You never know what is in store for you on any given day. Friday night several of us were decorating the hall for a very special party, a friend’s sixtieth birthday party. Sadly, Patricia, the birthday girl, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs), a motor neuron disease, fifteen months ago. I have watched this vibrant, clever, compassionate, loving, independent woman, as she succumbs to this vile paralysis which leaves the mind intact.
So many preparations went into planning this all so important party. While decorating, I spotted a piano. Upon investigating, I found it to be in tune. Not having touched a piano in five years, it felt strangely new, yet familiar at the same time. A great majority of my life has revolved around music, having come from a musical family. Awkwardly I stretched my mind to remember the music I had once known. I did not know it was an audition.
Well, you guessed it … yours truly was elected to play during dinner on Saturday night. At first I balked, “I am too rusty!” My dear friend, who only holds my best interests at heart, was not taking no for an answer. The look on her face said it all. My only recourse was to gather my courage and brave the inner storm I could feel washing over me.
Tripping, at times, over chord progressions and lost notes, I continued on. Mistakes melted away, mistakes no one even noticed. My contribution was well received by all, especially by the birthday girl. Unable to speak, she smiled as I told her afterwards, “I was playing for you Patricia. Thank you for the opportunity.” Then I kissed her on the cheek.
Besides sharing a priceless gift, that opportunity was to set aside fear, forging forward. A practice which I hope will overflow, into other areas of my life. Patricia once told me, “Keep your inner light burning bright. Keep it out there.” Those words will stay with me always, a legacy, left for me. Whenever I even entertain the idea of giving up, I shall recall those words and allow them to propel me forward.
Thank you Patricia. And it was a good party!
“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.”