Do you count the blessing of every day? I thought I did, until I came across this story as I casually perused the local violin shop’s website. In considering selling my viola, I looked up the shop’s website, McHugh’s Violins. He has a sterling reputation and did some excellent repair work for me a few years ago in preparation for my return to the concert stage (my return was not nearly as dramatic as it sounds).
As I blithely wend my way through my retirement and into my second career as a writer, I consider passing on my wonderful musical instrument, the viola that my parents had gifted me upon graduation from high school.
I spent my years at University of Northern Colorado playing for hours – in chamber groups, in a practice room, in at least 3 different symphonies. I loved those days. The gift of serenity through classical music came to me as a 4th grader, playing “Barcarolle”, and continued through all the years I played. Even though my practice hours were on the low side of the spectrum of music majors at UNC, I did still spend hours in Fraser Hall on that campus. My wife and I fell in love in those hallways and practice rooms and rehearsals and concert halls.
I recently tried a revival of my career in the viola section, but, due to a series of realizations, the largest of which was I didn’t want to practice the hours I needed in order to excel again, I now count myself as a listener rather than a player.
I have different ambitions and dreams now yet no less hopeful that when I wanted to be an actual viola player in a professional, full-time orchestra. I am creating a different kind of art but I love that I write best when I run endless classical music through my Bose headphones.
Back to the violin shop. I got no further than the first sentence on his website (“My sweet wife Susie passed away peacefully on October 18th, 2016”) when I clicked on this link, “Our Journey”, and read his faithful, loving, heartbreaking, shattering account of their loving battle with her cancer. I can’t imagine. His and her story stopped time for me as I read from the beginning entry to the final one. Please, take a few minutes and read.
Another friend of ours has blogged her entire journey through cancer. The short answer is, in her words, “cancer sucks”, but that friends and family deeply matter. You can read her journey right here in Michelle’s Blog.
I realize that today’s the day. Make your move; make your memories; make your love known.