Category Archives: Inspiration

Discover Challenge: “Forgive and Forget”

I have received many pieces of advice in my almost sixty years of living here on earth, and not only that, but I was raised in a family of seven children. And believe me, my mother and father had plenty of advice to give out during the time that I was living at home – not only to me, but to my other six siblings! I heard it all – from “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” to “Treat others as you want them to treat you,” which I must admit is one of my all-time favorites. And in those days, sometimes the advice was given simultaneously with a spanking, so you never forgot it!

But I must say that the best advice I have ever received came from my dear mother. Because there were seven of us children, naturally we didn’t all get along all the time. We had our little arguments and we had our big arguments, too. And of course there were hurt feelings. And our mother told us that the best thing we could ever do would be to forgive and forget and not to ever hold a grudge. She said that when you hold a grudge it just festers inside you and makes you dark inside and all you are really doing is hurting yourself and the person you are holding a grudge against. But if you forgive the other person it will heal that grudge inside you and make you lighter and you will feel better.

Some years later after my mother passed away, I felt as though one of my sisters had done something wrong against me and we didn’t speak for quite a while. I was holding quite a grudge against her and I was finding it very difficult to forgive her. I knew in my heart that what I was doing was wrong, but something was holding me back from doing the right thing. I just couldn’t forget what she had done to me.

It was the day after Thanksgiving, and it was our tradition to decorate the house for Christmas. As I was unpacking a box of decorations, I found my Mom’s caroler bells. This was my special family heirloom. At that moment, her words “Forgive and forget” rang loud and clear through my head. I knew then that the healing inside me had begun. I could feel the grudge that I had been holding against my sister begin to slowly melt away.

I called her, we made amends, and things have been good between us ever since.

Forgive and forget. And never hold a grudge. It will only eat you up.

 

This is in response to the Discover Challenge: A Piece of Advice

 

My Temple

 

my temple

When I think of my body as a temple, it gives me pause to consider how much care and attention it truly deserves, for I believe that is what my Creator intended. He would not have allowed me to inhabit this temple if He did not think I would care for it in the manner that He intended. There are many different parts to my temple, and each one deserves my ministrations.

~ My head is the center of my intelligence. It holds the ideas which are borne from my creativity and imagination. It conjures up all the dreams that I dare to dream. And it contains every thought which directs my actions.

~ My eyes are the windows through which I see the world and all the beauty that it has to offer. My eyes can also shut out the world if I desire to do so. And if I wish, I can shield them from the ugliness and hatred which sometimes resides within the souls of mankind.

~ My ears are the amplifiers of the sounds surrounding me. With my ears, I can hear all the sounds that the world has to offer, such as the birds when they sing their morning song, the wind as it whistles through the trees, and the rain as it pounds on my roof during a heavy shower.

~ My mouth is my instrument that allows me to communicate with the world. It helps me to grow closer to those around me through the art of conversation. With my mouth I can speak volumes or whisper sweet nothings. I can also sing praises to my God and King.

~ My nose allows me to smell the delicious aroma of freshly baked cookies, the aromatic scent of pine trees in the forest, or the sweet fragrance of a newborn baby’s head.

~ My hands allow me to touch those that I love. With my hands I can tend to my loved ones when they are ill, I can cook the meals that sustain us, I can write the stories and poetry that I love to write, I can create the music that I so dearly love by playing the piano, and I can reach out to others in need.

~ My feet allow me to walk the path of life, no matter where it takes me, following wherever my God will lead me, trusting in Him and Him alone.

~ My heart and my soul are the center of my being, the part of me in which faith, hope, and love reside – faith in my God who sustains me, hope for a better tomorrow, and love for my family, my friends, and for all mankind. This is the very best part of me.

My temple is my own, given to me by my Creator, and only He can take it away from me. Until He does, I will reside in it, and I have vowed to love it and care for it until the day comes that I must leave it and finally enter my heavenly home.

Then You Found Me

Prompt:

FOUND

 

I was
broken,
hurting,
and full of despair.

I was
lonely,
isolated,
and desperate for company.

I was
hopeless,
despondent,
and needing a purpose.

Then you found me…

I am whole again,
no longer alone,
and full of hope.

Tomorrow will be better.

 

 

poetry 101 rehab

 

This post is presented as part of Poetry 101 Rehab  If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Poetry 101 Rehab

 

 

 

 

Age is a Work of Art

I enjoy the summer with its plentiful sunshine, warm breezes, and gardens overflowing with green plants and colorful flowers. I love to sit on my backyard deck and listen to the birds as they sing their cheerful songs from the branches of the trees overhead and watch the squirrels as they chatter among themselves and scamper through the yard. It’s often a welcome relief from the cold winter months of Minnesota. It’s also a time for family gatherings like graduations, weddings, picnics, and backyard barbecues.cake with candles 1

There’s one other event that the summer brings to our family, and that’s birthday celebrations. During this time, our family celebrates three birthdays in quick succession, each one only a week apart. And my birthday happens to be one of them.

Usually I enjoy celebrating birthdays. It has never really bothered me what age I was. I always believed that age was just a number, a state of mind, and that you were only as old as you feel.

But this summer I’ll turn 59. For some reason, the thought of turning 59 bothers me. I suppose it’s because it means that next year I’ll be 60. My apologies to all the sexagenarians out there, but 60 sounds old to me! I still can’t get used to the idea that by all standards, I’m already considered a senior citizen. I don’t feel like a senior citizen. As far as I’m concerned, my brain still thinks like the 25 to 30-year-old woman who I once was. And when I look at my reflection in the mirror, I can see that I truly don’t have that many wrinkles and I can only find three or four gray hairs. As a matter of fact, when people find out that I’m 58, they always tell me that they would never have guessed that I was that old.

But maybe I should look at this from a different point of view. Perhaps I should leave my emotions out of the picture and instead of thinking about all the negative aspects to aging, maybe I should consider all the benefits to growing older.

One of my favorite quotes is by Stanislaw Lec and it goes like this: “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

I think that says it all. It’s true that when you’re young, you have the whole future before you. You have high hopes for tomorrow and so many dreams to chase. There’s so much to look forward to and you never give a second thought to growing old. But as we grow older, as we mature, I believe that we have so much more within ourselves than we had in our youth.

For instance, we have the knowledge and the experience to live our lives even smarter and better than when we were younger. We know what to do because there’s a good chance that we’ve been in similar circumstances before. We make wiser decisions and hopefully, smarter choices. Not only that, but we can help others to benefit from our experiences – those we love such as our children and even our grandchildren if we’re lucky.

Our emotions are more finely tuned and usually we can deal with those emotions better (not all the time, but most of the time). We can enjoy other people’s company more because of the experience we’ve gained from our past relationships.

And I think we can love others more fully and more deeply than ever before. And that’s the best part of all.

Do you remember that old jingle: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?” I believe it’s true.

So maybe turning 59 won’t be so bad after all. And before I blow out those birthday candles, I’ll think I’ll make the wish that next year my 60th birthday will be even better.

 

Where Your Treasure Lies

 

Where your treasure lies 100

 

What lies in Heaven? you may ask.

The answer’s not an easy task.

But ponder this before you part:

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

The heart is in the midst of all,

And we must beckon to its call.

Do you choose riches from the start?

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

A life of wealth has such appeal,

But you must choose to love with zeal.

This wisdom to you I impart:

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

The most important thing is love.

We learned this from our God above.

From ev’ryone you’re set apart.

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

Perform good deeds just as God said,

Do acts of love – you’ll be ahead,

For loving hearts are works of art.

“Your treasure lies where there’s your heart.”

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Mt. 6:19-21]

 

Joy in Suffering

joy 1

As you read the title of this piece, you may be thinking to yourself: How can there be joy in suffering? It is a contradiction in terms. I’d like to tell you that there can be joy in suffering. I know because I have experienced such joy in my life. Please let me explain.

I have been medically disabled from working since 2004. My problems started out small, and then steadily grew in proportion. I was diagnosed with medical conditions, one after another. I have many medical problems but I will not bore you by listing all of them here. Suffice it to say, I suffer every day. I suffer from pain; I suffer from depression; and I suffer from loneliness.

But I do have joy.

How can this be, you may ask? I am most eager to answer this question.

Before I became ill, I was a full-time working nurse, wife, and mother. I didn’t have time for any outside activities of my own. It was all I could do to come home from work each day and at the same time take care of my husband and children. But I was happy. I loved my life.

Then I became ill. Suddenly I was no longer the caretaker; I was the one being cared for. There are days when I’m in so much pain that I can’t even get out of bed. I’m confined for long periods of time to my bed or reclining chair.

I used to feel sorry for myself until one day I realized that I should be rejoicing instead of crying.

I’ve come to understand that God has blessed me with the most loving and understanding husband I could have ever asked for. I realized that when my husband took his wedding vows – the ones which state: “in sickness and in health” – he took those vows very seriously. He has proven it by taking on the roles of nurse, helper, friend, confidante, and lover.

Because I couldn’t work any more, our financial situation was in dire straits. So my hard-working husband took it upon himself to find a second part-time job just to help make ends meet. My dear husband works so hard that sometimes it makes me cry. But he never complains about it. He has never blamed me for it, even though at times I have blamed myself.

My husband also does all of the household chores and again, he does not complain. He does the cooking and the laundry, all without complaint. When our children were still in school, he was the one who attended the parent-teacher conferences. He was the one who drove our children to whatever practices or activities they were involved in for the day. He took my place at all the necessary social functions which I could not attend. He has done all these things, besides making sure that I have everything I need – sometimes giving those things to me before I even realized that I needed them myself.

Yes, my husband has brought me so much joy!

Our children have also been the bearers of joy for me. When I could not attend their school functions, they understood and never once did they complain about me not going. They only reassured me that it was all right, that they understood, and that they loved me. My children helped more around the house – doing things that I could no longer do. They have shown me nothing but love and understanding.

Yes, my children have brought me so much joy!

Since I’ve been ill, I’ve received so many telephone calls from my sisters and friends who check up on me, making sure that I’m okay, asking me what my needs are, and volunteering to fulfill those needs. Often times they’ll visit and spend time with me, just because they want to cheer me.

Yes, my sisters and friends have brought me so much joy!

Shortly after I became ill and was homebound, my husband thought it might be a good idea if I had a pet to keep me company during the day while I was alone so he bought me a little toy poodle. Her name is Lucy and she is my ever-faithful companion. She helped me through those long, lonely days and I believe she even helps to make me feel better. She always manages to put a smile on my face even when I am feeling low.

Yes, my little dog Lucy has brought me so much joy!

Because I have lots of time on my hands, I have been able to do some things that I never had time for when I was working. One of those things is writing. My illness has caused me to remember how much enjoyment I used to derive from writing. I’ve also discovered that writing is a wonderful form of therapy because it helps when I write down my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, my dreams, and my memories.

Yes, writing has brought me so much joy!

I have also discovered that when I’m in severe pain, if I pray and speak with my Lord, then my pain is lessened. I have come to know my God better than I have ever known Him before. To be with our Heavenly Father in prayer is a blessing.

Yes, God has brought me so much joy!

As a matter of fact, I have more joy in my life now than I ever did before.

So you see, there can be joy in suffering! You just have to know where to look for it, be grateful that you found it, appreciate it once you have it, and never, ever let it go.

 

 

 

 

The Cellist

She was thirteen and just starting middle school. She felt out-of-place and disliked. It was plain to see that she had no friends. There was no one who would talk to her, no one who would eat with her during lunch time, no one who would walk with her to class, and no one who would sit with her on the bus. It seemed that no one liked her.

She struggled with homework and she had a difficult time when it came to taking tests. She felt like she couldn’t learn anything, couldn’t remember anything, and couldn’t do anything right. No one understood her, cared what happened to her, and it seemed as though no one even knew that she existed. And she felt sad as she wondered: Is this the way that it’s meant to be?

Then one day it happened. There was something new in her life, something exciting, something just for her.

A cello.

This magnificent instrument entered her life and she began to learn how to play it. She practiced and practiced and then practiced some more. It wasn’t long before she became a member of the school orchestra. Yes, it was wonderful, and her world became a better place.

Her cello became her constant companion and her best friend. This friend was always there for her, understood her, and never let her down. When she played her cello, she could be herself and everything was all right.

She began to make friends at school – friends who played in the orchestra with her. These friends introduced her to more friends. Soon, friends were calling her at home, walking with her to class, eating lunch with her, and riding with her on the bus. And she knew that life was good. She was filled with happiness as she thought: Maybe this is the way that it’s meant to be!

Three years passed and she entered high school. All the old anxieties came rushing back to her. She was sure it would be the same thing all over again – no one to understand her, no one to care about her, and no friends except for her faithful cello.

She auditioned for and subsequently won a place in the concert orchestra, which was quite a feat for a freshman because freshmen rarely were allowed to play in the concert orchestra. Surely luck played a part in her placement. It never occurred to her that it was her talent which had secured her position.

Then something wonderful happened. The other kids told her that she was good; as a matter of fact, they said that she was really good. As before, she made new friends, and those friends introduced her to more friends.

By the time she was a junior, she was the first chair in the cello section – the chair reserved only for the best cellist. At last she was really someone, someone of status, someone who played an important part in the orchestra. And she knew that life was good. With a feeling of great joy and hope she marveled: Yes! Maybe this really is the way that it’s meant to be!

Then came her senior year, the year that every teenager awaits with eager anticipation. It was a wonderful year; indeed a memorable year, and at the final orchestra concert, she and her best friend – her beloved cello – played a solo. She played for an audience of 500 people or more. The piece she played was a difficult one, but she played it perfectly, and her best friend – her cello – did not let her down.stephcello4

When she finished, there was silence. Oh no! she thought in dismay. They didn’t like it!

Then it happened – a thunderous applause! All those people were clapping for her! One by one, everyone in the auditorium stood up and applauded. She could hardly believe it – a standing ovation! This was a rare thing indeed! But it really was not that difficult to understand why this happened. The audience recognized the talent she had, they appreciated the beautiful way she had played, and they gave her the credit that she truly deserved.

She knew then that she had found her life’s work.

And finally she realized: I know this is the way that it’s meant to be.

 

* Author’s Note:  At the present time (May of 2015), our youngest daughter Stephanie has just completed her first year of studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she is pursuing her master’s degree in music performance on the cello. Her dream of being a professional cellist and some day performing with a symphony orchestra burns brightly.

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #18

What type of pets do you have or want?  Or do you not want pets?

When I was growing up, we lived in a low-income housing project which did not allow us to own any kind of pets such as cats or dogs. So my father raised parakeets instead and he always chose to raise albino parakeets. He did such a great job with these parakeets, teaching them tricks and getting them to talk. How he loved those birds! I enjoyed them also, but in my heart of hearts, I always wanted to have a dog for a pet. After I was married, I finally got my wish,lucy in leaves and today I am the proud owner of the sweetest little toy poodle you’d ever want to meet. Her name is Lucy and she became part of our family in 2005 when she was eight weeks old. At that time, I had become disabled from working due to serious medical illness and my husband thought it would be a good idea to have a dog to keep me company while he was at work and the kids were at school. I was also quite depressed because having to quit work was very difficult for me. I loved my work and suddenly I found myself bedridden and no contact with the outside world. I think my little Lucy helped me with the transition and as a matter of fact, I think she helped with the healing process. Not only is she cute as a button, but she is very intelligent, fiercely loyal, and so loving. I don’t know what I’d do without her. By the way, did you know that my little Lucy is now famous? If you’d like to read about it, please click here:

Lucy Become Famous

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

gumbyOkay, so now you’ve got me. This may sound weird, but I’ve never been a big fan of cartoons. Even as a kid, I never really cared to sit down and watch cartoons! I’m not really sure why. Okay, maybe I do know why. Here it is – I think it’s because I knew that they weren’t real and that’s why I didn’t like them. I know. Sad, huh? But even as a little girl, I was always being realistic. Now don’t get me wrong – I loved fairy tales! I just didn’t like cartoons! They just never appealed to me. I did, however, like the computer animations, which in my day was Gumby. Do any of you out there remember Gumby? And Pokey. I can’t seem to remember if there were any more of those computer animations at that time, but I did like them. But as for just plain cartoons – sorry. So I wonder what the psychologists would say about that?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?footies

I never wear shoes when I’m at home, whether I’m alone or with someone. And it’s not because we have gorgeous carpet that we don’t want soiled or beautiful polished wooden flooring that we’d like kept that way. Oh no, it’s not that. It’s because I just don’t like to wear shoes if I don’t have to! So the minute I come home, the first thing I do is kick off my shoes, boots, sandals, or whatever else I happen to be wearing on my feet at the time. And then I go and find a pair of my favorite footie socks to wear. I don’t usually go barefoot because for some reason my feet do tend to get cold, so that’s why I wear the footie socks. And no, I don’t like to wear just plain socks; I must wear footie socks. And believe me, I have pairs upon pairs of these socks: all different shades and colors; striped; polka-dotted; fuzzy; lacy; even sequined! Yep, I can never have enough footies!

Are you a traveler or a homebody? 

If you’ve been reading my entries for Share My World, then you know that I’ve been medically disabled since 2004, and because of this, I am usually a homebody. I have my good days and my bad days as far as my health is concerned, which suitcase 2means that I haven’t had the opportunity to travel very much in the past eleven years. It’s difficult to travel when you’re not feeling well. I am feeling better these days, though, so maybe there will be a trip in my future.  I’ve always wanted to travel to Rome, Italy and visit all the sites they have to offer such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City itself. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get my wish and embark on my dream vacation to the Eternal City. As with my piano dream, I’ve learned that dreams really do come true. Therefore . . . never say never.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I was able to finish the Writing101 course that was offered through the WordPress Blogging University during the month of April. This was a four-week write-every-day challenge which was designed to help create a writing blogging 101habit and push you as a writer, while publishing posts that meshed with your blog’s focus. We wrote every day, except for the weekends. I was able to hone my writing and blogging skills and at the same time I met a lot of great people, which was the best part of all. This was the first course that I’ve taken through WordPress and I enjoyed it so much that I’m looking forward to what they’re going to offer next. But the part that I’m really grateful for is that when I began the course, I made a pledge to myself that I would follow through with the entire course, and even though there were a few days when I floundered, I still kept pushing through, so I’m pretty proud of myself. It’s so great when you set out to reach a goal and then when you cross that finish line, it’s the best feeling in the world. So – thanks, WordPress!

This next week I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day, and I hope that all the mothers out there are, too. Two of our children, Sarah and Joe, are visiting on that day. Our youngest daughter Stephanie, is at the University of Wisconsin, so she won’t be able to make it, but I know I’ll be receiving a phone call from her. My husband’s planning our traditional Mother’s Day barbecue which we always have in our own back yard for that day. My daughter Sarah phoned me the other day to tell me that she was going shopping with our daughters’ best friends to “gather the components” for my happy mother's dayMother’s Day gift. She never can contain her excitement when it comes to giving me her Mother’s Day gift, and she always gives me something that I would never guess that she would give me and usually it’s something that she’s put a lot of thought into. One year she gave me the gift of a Mother-Daughter makeover day topped off by a Mother-Daughter photo shoot in a local park; then one year she had a professional makeup artist and beautician come to my house and give me a professional makeover (I kept thinking – Is she trying to tell me something, like I need a makeover or what?); and one year she gave me this beautiful vase that she had made herself and fired in a kiln at one of her college classes. So you see what I mean? I never know what she’ll be giving me. But most of all, I’m just looking forward to spending time with my family because that is the best gift of all.

And last, but not least, I’d like to say a few words to all the mothers out there: Remember that you do the most important job in the world and you deserve to be recognized for it. Celebrate your motherhood on this very special day. And I’d like to wish all of you: Happy Mother’s Day! 

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

 

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

Making New Memories

 

This week’s word:  MEMORIES

 

Christina smiled tenderly as she gazed at the black and white image of the five barefooted children who were linked together by holding hands while looking out over the ocean.

Memories of her childhood came rushing back to her as she remembered those almost long-forgotten carefree days, washing over her just like the tide of that ocean washed over the shore on the day that photograph was taken. She remembered how life was so free and easy then, so much simpler and less complicated, and how stress wasn’t even a factor.

But tomorrow was going to be the beginning of a new life for her, a chance to start fresh, to finally break free of the bad memories that had been holding her hostage these past three years so that she could begin making good memories for herself and for her children.

And the first thing on their list was a trip to the ocean.

 

 

five sentence

 

This post is presented as part of Five Sentence Fiction.  

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Five Sentence Fiction

 

 

 

Writing 101: Day Twenty – “The Things We Treasure”

Day Twenty – The Things We Treasure:  

* Today’s Prompt:   Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.

* Today’s Twist:  We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing.

 

I can say without a doubt, that music has always held a prominent place in my life. I discovered at a very young age that having the ability to make music, whether it is through singing or through an instrument is a beautiful gift to the person who is performing, and to perform, thereby giving that gift of music to others is so rewarding. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for music. I don’t mean to brag, but very early on, I discovered that God blessed me with a singing voice, and ever since then, I have used it whenever I could. Whether I was doing my chores, walking to school, riding my bike, or just sitting on the front steps to our apartment building, I’d sing. And it didn’t matter to me if I wasn’t singing for an audience, because I knew that somehow there was someone, somewhere who could hear me, even if it was only the birds and the squirrels in the trees.

I think I’ve always loved music because I knew that in music, I could express myself, whether I was in the throes of joy and happiness or in the depths of sadness and despair. I knew that if I couldn’t find the words, I could always find the music, the melody, the mood, the tempo. Music was always there. It may not make sense to someone else, but it always made sense to me.

While growing up, one of my friends was taking piano lessons, and I was so envious of her. Oh, how I wanted to learn how to play the piano! But my family could not afford to buy piano, much less the expense of my taking piano lessons. I used to look forward to going over to her house to spend time with her because sometimes she would let me sit down at the piano and she would try to teach me some of the lessons she had learned. I was an avid student. Of course, she was not the best teacher, but I learned what I could. Not only that, but I had an excellent “ear” and could play some melodies by ear. But oh, how I longed for a piano of my very own! Then one day she and her family moved away. Not only was I sad to see her go, but I was also sad because I knew that was the end of my piano-playing days.

As the years went by, and I married and had children, every now and then I’d still think about my dream of owning a piano some day, but raising a family and other financial concerns seemed more important, so my piano dream was set aside until last January. I began thinking about playing the piano once again, now that our children had left our nest. I own 76-key electronic keyboard and I decided to take the plunge and begin piano lessons. I knew that we couldn’t afford a piano, but I could practice on the keyboard. I have a friend from church who teaches piano, so I began taking lessons from her. After a few lessons at her home, It wasn’t long before I noticed the differences between playing on her piano and practicing on my keyboard. The touch was different, the weight of the keys was different, and even the width of the keys was different.  I knew that in order to derive the full benefit of piano lessons, I would have to practice on a real piano. But how? After giving it some thought, soon I came up with a plan and knew exactly what to do.

I telephoned my church choir director. Of course – I’m a member of our church choir! Since we live only five minutes from our church, I asked her if I could practice every day on the piano in our choir rehearsal room.

“Of course, you could . . .  but, I have another suggestion,” Therese said.

“What’s that?”

“Well, I have a piano at home that you could have.”

“What?”

“Yes. I have a piano for sale on Craig’s list, but no one’s really asked about it, so you could have it.”

“But we really can’t afford a piano right now. That’s why I’d like to practice on the one at church,”

“No, Cindy. You don’t understand. You can HAVE it. For free. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather give it to.”

I was speechless. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. She was going to GIVE me a piano. FREE. It was going to be as easy, as simple, as wonderful as THAT. Before I knew it, I was sobbing uncontrollably because this beautiful, wonderful, kindhearted, loving woman was going to make my lifelong dream come true.

A week later, the big day arrived. My piano was going to be delivered. I had spent the day before preparing for it. It was like I was preparing for company! My husband and I moved the computer desk out of the living room, which is where the piano was going to “live.” I dusted the entire living room from top to bottom. I vacuumed the rug, and swept and polished the wooden floors, making them glow.

Isn't my piano beautiful?

Isn’t my piano beautiful?

Ten minutes before the piano was due to arrive, I sat on the sofa with my little toy poodle Lucy, anxiously watching out the living room window, waiting for the piano moving truck to arrive. It seemed as though the time was ticking by so slowly as I waited. Then it appeared. Around the corner it came. The truck with MY piano! Even my little Lucy could sense the joy in my mood as she jumped off the sofa, wagging her tail, running back and forth from the door to the window where I stood, watching as the truck pulled slowly into our driveway. The doorbell rang and I ran to the door to answer it. I greeted the piano movers with a huge smile on my face and happiness in my voice. I followed their every move as they carefully and skillfully brought my piano into our house, setting it into its place of honor. Then I gave them their hard-earned pay, thanked them, and said good-bye, but in my mind, all I kept thinking was, Hurry and leave, so I can sit down and play the piano, MY piano! 

And finally it was time. My dear choir director had wrapped up the bench with a beautiful white ribbon, ending with a gorgeous bow on the top. It was so like her to make such a gesture; after all it was her gift to me. I carefully untied the bow, planning to save it as a keepsake, thinking I would place the ribbon inside the bench so I wouldn’t lose it. I opened the bench and lying inside was a carefully folded note.  It was printed by hand, and on the outside were the words: Enjoy the Piano! I opened it and inside were some more words which read: May it bring you great joy and happiness!  Therese.  These words from my choir director so touched me that I broke down and cried tears of joy.

It was at this moment when I realized that sometimes if you dream long enough and add a little faith to the mix, dreams really do come true. And that it’s never too late to begin a new chapter in your life – even if it means learning to play the piano at the age of fifty-seven!

 

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