Monday, July 28, 2014

He Loves It

Dear Margaret,

Of all the treasures you decided couldn't go with you when you downsized from house to apartment, I'm going to guess that this was the one that hurt the most. You were a music teacher; you had played for most of your 80-some years. Your daughter is my friend, and she has told me of how when she was a child you would play Clair de Lune after all your children were in bed--it was your way to wind down, a settling of the day's dust. 

You may not have played much in more recent years. I know arthritis had settled into your knuckles and the pain in my own 20-plus-years-younger-than-yours knobbly fingers reminds me that my piano days are not unlimited. But I can't imagine that you ever walked by this beautiful instrument without thinking how much pleasure it had brought you.

We were the ones bidding on that piano during your auction Saturday. Boy#3 is a music teacher now, and he has both wanted and needed a piano. For a musician a piano is as necessary as a Bible is for a preacher--it's the basic instrument you rely on to do your work, as well as being a source of joy and restoration.

And this is such a beautiful piano. I sat down at the auction to try it out, and I hadn't played three chords before I knew how easily I could fall in love with it. The action was perfect, not too stiff or too loose. The cabinetry was immaculate.

This piano has been loved.

But I want you to know that it has passed to someone who will also loves it, and will appreciate it. This was not purchased for a kid starting out in music who might not persevere through the years between learning Heart and Soul and learning, well, Clair de Lune. Those years can be tough; it's hard to train fingers and brain to work together and your piano might have taken some frustration abuse in the form of hands slammed on the keyboard, or stomps on the pedals.Three recognizes the gift of having a really fine instrument and he will treat it with the respect it deserves.

I'm glad you weren't at the auction Saturday. My mother-in-law never forgot how difficult it was at her downsizing auction to see how little the buyers appreciated her wonderful antiques. But know that your piano has gone to a good home.

Your piano went to my son, and he will love it.

All my best,


  1. Oh how I love this! I remember loving to listen to my mom play piano. She loved Clair de Lune too. Autumn Leaves was another favorite. So glad you gave Margaret's piano a new home with Boy #3.

  2. Thank you, MomQueenBee, for the lovely letter to Margaret as her piano transitions to #Three. I am the other daughter who holds fond memories of hearing Clair de Lune after being put to bed.
    I used to love hearing the beginning of the song and getting out of bed quietly so I could watch her start to play her favorite piano piece. I always imagined her on stage in a long, flowing dress sitting under a lone spot light…… seeming to barely touch the keys with her fingers as she so delicately started into the music. I was entranced by how her facial expressions….her eyebrows especially….moved the music forward and by how her hands would occasionally lift off the keys as if they were going to float away. At times, she would hover over the keyboard as if to will it to produce just the right sound. I listened until being enveloped in her passion and what I now understand to be raw vulnerability…….and took comfort in the connection I felt to her and to the music she made. I was safe and I was loved.
    Note to # Three: I wish you the ability to touch those close to your heart with your music and the passion that is within you.

    1. Oh, Nancy! This made me cry. Thank you for this memory.

  3. I'd type something thoughtful but there seems to be something in my eyes. They're leaking.