Music has always meant a great deal to me. As Cindy told you, I believe that music is a more complete form of communication.
Music has also brought me some of the best things this life has to offer. I met my husband and my best friend in high school band. These relationships are two of the most important gifts that music has afforded me.
But there are others…
I have memories of my grandmother playing her guitar as our whole family sang, “You Are My Sunshine.”
I have memories of Cindy and I playing Christmas Carols on our flutes for our families one year. We went to her grandparent’s home to play for them. I received a phone call the next day from her letting me know that her grandfather had passed. I was so relieved that she had been able to spend a few moments with him…something she may not have done had we not gone Caroling that year.
I remember tours to Canada and California with the band in the spring. Some of my favorite memories are from those trips.
There are certain hymns that never fail to bring peace to my spirit and provide hope when I feel that all is lost.
Without music, I don’t think I would have met my husband, I would have missed out on raising four amazing children with him. I wouldn’t have met Cindy, my kindred spirit, and we wouldn’t have this group. Yes indeed, music has brought me so much joy!
Below you will find a song and a scene that I wrote for a book that our group is writing. I hope you enjoy reading it with music as much as I enjoyed writing it with music.
Exhausted, Heather cuddled the newborn in her arms and gazed into his gray-blue eyes; the wisdom of innocence gazing back at her. Whenever one of her children had been placed in her arms she always had an immediate rush of unconditional love that opened a new and surprising place in her heart. She knew this tiny being! He was brand new and to anyone else he would be an enigma, to her he was just as he should be and she knew him perfectly.
She looked expectantly at her bedroom door. David should have been back with Frank long ago. The baby had only waited for about 20 minutes after David left to get him. She was sorry that Frank had missed the delivery, but reveled in the quiet solitude with her sleeping infant.
The baby in her arms squirmed and then went back to sleep. She wanted to shower while the baby slept but fatigue was dictating her actions and she decided to stay in bed with her new baby boy.
She could hear Janet, with her four other children playing some game that involved cleaning up the toys. “Okay Pirates,” she was saying to the younger two “Let’s clean up the um..uh…starboard side and then I’ll make you peanut butter sandwiches in the galley.”
“I don’t want to be a pirate,” said Eleanor. “I want to be a princess,” her six year old desires asserting themselves.
“Maybe you can be the princess that us pirates have kidnapped,” said Mary. Heather was always grateful for her oldest daughter. Mary had an intuition about people that allowed her to smooth over almost any situation.
“Then I don’t think I should have to clean up,” Eleanor said. “If I’ve been kidnapped, I would be locked in my room.”
“I know why you want to be in your room,“ Tim yelled angrily. “Your room is already clean and all of your toys are in there. That’s not fair!”
Mary’s soothing voice followed, “Well, maybe we’ve made you our slave and since you’re a princess we will be kind to you and give you princess chores. For example, I think princesses would like to have a clean table and our princess has been playing with clay for a long time. Look at all the clay on the table in the play room! What if you wiped off the table? That seems like a princess thing to do and I will put the clay in the tubs.”
“Get me the princess rag.” Eleanor said empirically to someone. They must have complied because after a few moments Heather could hear the kitchen sink running as if someone were getting the rag ready for her.
“You have quite a club to join,” she cooed to the new baby.
The front door opened and then she heard it slam closed. Frank couldn’t be angry that he missed the delivery, could he? After four deliveries he should know these things happen whenever nature dictates.
“Everything went fine. Both of them are in your bedroom resting.” Janet said. “Congratulations!”
There was a muffled response from Frank and then her bedroom door opened slowly and he peered in.
“Hi Honey! Baby Patrick is here!” Heather grinned at her husband.
David entered her bedroom behind him, obviously uncomfortable.
“I’ll just go home now; this was more than I bargained for when I came to pick up your manuscript.” He forced a smile. “I need a drink. I’ll come see the baby next week; I’ll get your manuscript then. You need to just be a family right now.” He caught Franks eye and gave him a stern, angry look. He left, slamming the door behind him.
Heather could only puzzle over his anger for a moment before Frank was next to her caressing their newest son.
“Here,” she said, “you two should meet properly.” She handed him the sleeping infant.
Frank sat in the rocking chair next to their bed and rocked the baby in silence.
Heather stretched and then got out of bed. Her fatigue was fading and she knew she should take advantage of any energy she had. She was sore, but movement made her feel useful and she knew it would help the healing process. She assessed the damage to the bed. Thanks to the midwife it was minimal and she removed the sheets to take them to the washer.
“Can you keep an eye on him for a minute? I’m going to run these to the wash, if I do it now they won’t stain.” She was met with silence.
She turned to the rocking chair. Frank was gazing down at his son in his arms. Tears were streaming down his face and his shoulders shook with silent sobs.
“Frank?…Are you okay?”
“I…I have something I need to talk to you about.” His voice wavered as he spoke. She had never seen him this upset.
“What? What’s wrong?”
She didn’t know if it was intuition, God, Fate or something else, but in the way he said her name all of her worst fears were confirmed. She realized she had known what he was about to tell her for a very long time.
“I’ve been seeing someone.”
The silence lingered like a bad odor in the room. Heather experienced a strange mixture of emotion. Anger and sadness were expected; she knew she would feel those when he finally told her the truth. Unexpected emotions also revealed themselves; satisfaction at having known for months, fear at what the future held, relief for everything being in the open, pity for Frank and herself, and was that humor? Strangely, that’s the emotion that surfaced. Her laughter stunned both of them.
“Does she know that you are afraid of spiders?” She paused as if she were expecting an answer. “Have you been to the movies with her? Does she know how many times you get up to use the bathroom because you refuse to get a small drink? Or that you can’t ever read the word “debris” on the first try? Has she seen your underwear at the end of the day?” She continued to giggle and shake her head as she thought of all the things that had surprised or annoyed her during their 16 year marriage.
Frank’s face showed that he wasn’t quite sure how to react to her sudden laughter.
“Heather, I’m serious.”
“I know you are. I’ve known for a long time that something was wrong.” She stopped laughing and let sadness take its appropriate place. It slowly seeped into her heart as she began to think of the impact this news would have on her life-and the lives of her children. She quickly pushed images of her father packing his things into the back of his car out of her mind. She hadn’t made that decision…not yet.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered
“How long?” her voice was quiet and calm.
“For about two years.”
“Who is she?”
“I met her at the auto supply store. She used to work there.”
“That’s where you were just now, isn’t it.” This was not a question. Heather now understood David’s anger.
“Yes.” His answer was so quiet that it took her a moment to realize he had spoken.
“David had to track you down to her house?”
“Do you love her?”
“I don’t know.” He stroked the baby’s fine, soft hair.
“Is this the first time?”
She waited through a long pause, “No.”
“The first time was about four years ago…right after I had Robert?”
Frank looked at her shocked. “How did you know?”
“Intuition. I gained a lot of weight with him. You told me you weren’t attracted to me anymore. But that wasn’t all of it, Frank. I knew there was something else. You had this deep disdain for me. You made me think the problem in our marriage was my fault and I couldn’t figure out how or what I had done. I didn’t understand your contempt for me. It made no sense…until now.”
Frank sat in silence.
“You stopped seeing her after about a year?”
Heather just nodded as if this was the answer she was expecting. “Are those the only two times?”
“But there were other things that happened. Before I mean. Whether you slept with the women or not, you were not totally faithful.” She rolled up the sheets and threw them into the corner making space for her to lie on the bed. Standing was getting painful.
“I don’t know about not being faithful, but I have had female friends…you know…at work. Heather, I didn’t understand what I was doing until today. I didn’t realize the impact my actions would have on my family. It was never serious to me. Never. I have always loved you. Please, forgive me. I know I need to do some work, but please forgive me. David…when he saw me…he said…” He began to sob again.
Heather could only sit and watch him in silence as he held his youngest child. She realized that she had begun detaching herself from him months ago.
“I…need to think and right now is not the time for me to make this decision. I need time to process everything. A lot of things have happened in our marriage. I just don’t know…”
“What don’t you know? Please, please don’t tear apart our family over this.”
“Me? Me destroy the family? The family may already be destroyed!” Now anger showed up, white hot, it stung Heather with fiery tentacles. “I’m simply deciding whether I want to be your wife, whether I trust you. And you need to decide what is important to you.” She realized that she had been yelling and made an effort to calm her voice. “Do you want to keep living like this or are you going to get help? This..what you have done…is a symptom of a problem. There is something wrong. You need help. And I need to decide what is best for the children…and for me.”
She gently took the baby from him and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. Leaning against the wooden door frame to steady her shaking knees, she focused on the fast-paced breathing of her child. She let the pain slip into a hidden part of her heart. She straightened herself and walked to the kitchen to introduce the children to their new baby brother, leaving her husband and the dirty laundry behind her.