My heart rejoices. My girl is playing her guitar again.
After a couple of years on the oboe (and a minor fortune spent on those reeds!) and a couple of years on percussion, my oldest Aub asked for a new instrument. She wanted to try her hand and skills on the guitar.
We got her a beautiful guitar and found an even more beautiful soul to teach her how to play. I knew we’d found the right teacher when at Aub’s first lesson the teacher asked her, “Who’s your favorite artist?” and taught her to play a Taylor Swift song that very day. The lessons continued just like that. They eagerly shared songs they had heard with each other and they played and played and played together. Eventually they began singing together too.
While it made her nervous for us to sit and listen, Aub would play her music in her room. While I cooked supper in the kitchen, I could hear the tunes coming from her bedroom, and I LOVED it. It sounded perfect to me. It may or may not have been, but it didn’t matter. It was beautiful, and my girl had found her instrument. The one that touches her soul and brings her joy.
A woman who brought her nephew to swim practice last week pointed him out to me as they were all jumping in the chilly water. “That’s him,” she said. She told me that he’s had some hard things in his young life, but he told her, “When I swim, I’m free.”
And that’s how I think music makes my Aub feel. Free. To be happy, to be sad, to be pensive, to be angsty, strong, bluesy, joyful, silly–goodness knows there’s a song to fit any one of those emotions and more. Free. To feel. To be. Whatever.
My two favorite memories of Aub’s playing each involve my parents–the two people who loved and continue to love her so much. In May less than a year before Mama passed, Aub had a recital with all of the students of her music teacher. She played a beautiful song while another young woman sang. It was amazing. I looked over at my Mama, who was so happy to be there with her neighbor friend, and saw tears of joy in her eyes. There wasn’t a lot that could do that since Daddy’s passing seven months prior, but her grandchildren could. And this one, playing the guitar, an instrument Mama used to play herself–that brought her great joy. A precious memory.
About a month or two before Daddy left this world, he was in his hospital bed in the living room, and I was sitting with him, talking and not talking. Just being together. Aub was in the “big room,” practicing her guitar before her lesson later that day.
Daddy cocked his head and looked at me. “What is that?”
“The music? That’s Aub practicing on her guitar. Do you want me to ask her to close the door or stop for a bit?” I wondered if the sound was keeping him from resting.
He shook his head slowly. “No. No, don’t make her stop.” He paused. “I thought it was the radio. She’s really good.”
Y’all. My Daddy never gave praise lightly. If he praised you, he meant it and you had earned it, no two ways about it.
That moment right there–my Daddy made me cry.
Yessir, she is good.
For a while, the music has been quiet. I don’t know why. I don’t ask. But I have missed it.
So you can imagine my joy when she said she needed her capo from home, that she was going to play at the Chapel Service on Sunday night.
We made sure she got it, that’s for sure.
When I asked her last night if she had played during the service, she said yes. I could hear something in her voice, and while I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly, I gave thanks for it. I was sad that I wasn’t there, but she hadn’t been sure if she would play or not, and I think she needed to do this on her own for the first time.
As I curled up to go to sleep last night, I gave thanks. I might not have been there watching my baby take another huge step on her journey, but I know that her biggest fans were. They were there listening with tears of joy and in amazement–thinking, “That sounds like the radio.” I know they were there.
Tonight I’m thankful for the music in our lives and for the ones who share it with us. I give thanks for a special music teacher who shared the joy and wonder of learning and performing music with my girl. And I am grateful that those who are on the other side of the veil are still helping me raise this beautiful soul, with their love and encouragement that knows no boundaries.
Most of all, I’m glad that there is the sound of music in her heart again. Music is a balm to the soul like no other, and I’m glad my girl is free again, free to feel and play and sing and to find a peace within that makes its own beautiful melody.
May you hear music in your heart today too.
Love to all.