Saturday, April 01, 2006

One Little Moment

Grandma's just about the toughest person I know. She survived four kids, a husband, breast cancer, a pacemaker, and just about every childhood disease you can imagine. She's almost 90, a few years shy, and isn't doing to well right now. Doctors said this morning that she's potentially facing a knee replacement, plus she has an infection that doesn't look good.

I go to work and try to do my job while also trying to keep an eye on her every free moment... it's like I'm a grown-up or something! So while working a full shift serving breakfast to my residents AND their twelve guests this morning, Grandma decides I need to go see her for a minute. @#$%&! But whaddyagunnado? I dig deeper. I fight harder, I get the job done no matter what. By the time my break rolled around at 9am (five hours after I got up, empty stomach), I'm exhausted and shaking. Tried to get some toast in me, but I was just too tired. So I half-slept for a few minutes before getting up to work some more. Dad brought me a donut (because Dad understands that maple bars rock and so does his eldest daughter), and then he took Grandma to the hospital for the fourth or fifth time in the last two weeks. I just kept working; nothing else to do. Somehow I managed to stay one step ahead of being totally behind and finished my shift running on empty. Ran over to Mom and Dad's house to pick up my mail. Since nobody was home, I sat and played the piano for a minute. Left there and drove out Tennesee Road through farm community where Dad grew up. The grass... I can't even describe how green it is! The world smelled clean, wet, like farms and grass and rain and wood smoke and home.

After a day of total chaos and exhaustion, it felt so nice to sit down at a piano and just play. No music in front of me, only my fingers on the keys deciding which songs to play. Music is not my passion--it doesn't drive my soul. But the piano is a very integral part of my coping mechanism. I can survive without music. I can't mentally get through more than two weeks without touching those black and white keys... it clears my head to let my fingers do their work. Typing on this keyboard isn't the same. The piano is everything. Not even my flute compares. The piano is home to my head.

Between playing and driving today, I felt like I found a little bit more of that "elusive self" I've been looking so long to find. When I'm playing the piano, I'm happy. When I'm staring out into the heart of my valley, I'm happy. For a short while today, I found me where I least expected it. One of those little moments I thought I'd share...

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