I’m taking a chance in writing this post. And it will probably take me a few days to really do it right. I’m taking a chance because I am writing about another person, someone who may not want to be written about. Luckily, most of you, dear readers, will not know who this is anyway and the rest of you who have heard this name a bit over the months will just shrug and find the next blog to read, LOL:)
I have just finished what to me was an exhausting weekend. Not that I really expended all that much physical energy – really, it was mostly mental, so you can understand why I was exhausted, LOL! As we came to the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season, I realized how grateful I am to have music – real music – in my life. It has been this way since 2003 – well really 2004 when I re-joined the SJEC choir.
Mind you, I’ve been in church choirs, choral societies, even in one symphony chorus (back, I like to say, when I had a voice). But for about 8 years, barring one night when I tried to go back to my former (Catholic) parish choir, I had been without. I mean, I listened to music on the radio, I listened to classical, baroque, romantic, early music CDs. The very day after Thanksgiving, Handel’s Messiah was in the CD player(The Leonard Bernstein recording where they really get the idea that the theme in the Overture should be a dotted eighth and sixteenth note – the thing was composed in three weeks, so of course they could improvise, and it was announcing the King ferheavenssake – ok you get the picture). But PLAYING? Singing? With OTHERS? That was a dream I could not imagine.
I was busy – working, raising a family, working. working. My schedule did not permit two hours at the same time every week. I could barely keep up with the wash, the (almost adult) kids’ schedules – who needed to be picked up where, from which job, who had a car, who lived at home. And then a surprise (but welcome!) grandchild and …. Well, life got busy and music was relegated to listening (and often singing) in the car, playing my daughter’s flute (my own had been sold many years earlier), strumming an occasional guitar, and whaling away on the kitchen counters with wooden spoons (my drums had met a similar fate to the flute).
A young lady had been sexually assaulted in my town, waiting for her mother to pick her up at the library. Choir got out at 10 – the Mall (where many of my kids worked) closed at 9:30. It wasn’t going to work.
I gave it a shot in 2003, but I couldn’t yet be a reliable chorister. So I quit with the idea of coming back when our youngest got a car or a reliable ride to and from work. That happened and I went back. In the meantime, I e-mailed Nancy, the Music Director (Organist/Choirmaster) and told her why I was taking time out. Her response was so sweet and kind – knowing her as I do now, it is no surprise, but at that time it was. She let me know that there were many people who could only do this thing part time and I could also. I felt that I was either going to do it right or not at all.
I did return about 10 months later. The way my life often goes, it’s just as likely that I wouldn’t have returned. But music has always had a strong pull for me. Not that I’m a particularly good musician. I certainly do not solo at anything! But it’s something I simply do not do without. Even so, although I had a strong incentive, it was possible that I could have been distracted by any number of things. But I wasn’t.
In that year between joining the choir twice, I did join that church, and not a day goes by that I regret that decision.
Similarly I am so glad that my brain had the good sense to get me back to that choir and later, the bell choir. Like I say before, I’m not particularly great at any of this, but it fills a serious void I didn’t know I had.
At the center of this is Nancy – and believe me when I tell you I’m not the only life she has touched. There’s Tom who actually moved to this parish with his wife when Nancy left their old parish. Now, I’ve heard of people following religious leaders, but this is something else, LOL! Chris, another member of the ringers and singers, has felt her kindness in his life. So many of us have different Nancy stories.
I got to know what Nancy was made of when she went through a personal family tragedy. And when a member of the choir was hospitalized and later died. She and her husband were there for his adult children. She is one of the most loyal and steadfast friends I’ve ever been privileged to have in my life and I count her as one of the best friends I’ve ever been lucky enough to have. Even when I was hospitalized a couple of summers ago, she called me darn near every day. Even when I’m not doing my best in terms of diet and exercise, she’s been there, walking (and walking and walking, LOL!) talking about how good it feels to be healthy and slim, God love her:)!
OK, enough – had to vent. But in a good way.