Lest you think I am just "an old scullery maid," I also had a massage today. Our friend, Joanne, is a fabulous person and a fabulous masseuse, who works right in the neighborhood. I can walk to my massage and home again. It was a healing gift, as always, and for those of you who wonder how you can help a friend who is in crisis (or even just going through a bad patch), consider giving her a gift certificate for a massage. My family did this for me when we were in the hospital last year, and it was a great help. Our church provided meals when we were at home and swamped with medical responsibilities (and deep in the first days of grief). Those were so helpful. It's hard to tell people what I need, because I usually think, "I can do it myself," or "I don't need it," or that someone else needs it more than I do. But sometimes you do need help, and you deserve it. If you are a person in need right now, I hope you will let others lend you a hand. It makes people feel better if they can do something to help you.
I have something wonderful to tell you. A man who met David last year in Seattle (his daughter was at The Hutch School with David, while his son was in treatment at SCCA for cancer) recently signed Katie's Caringbridge guestbook. (I am thankful to be able to say that his son is in remission.) This dear man shared a memory of David playing the piano for his daughter at school, and said that David's playing had sparked her love of Phantom of the Opera, and that they had just been to see it on stage. I told David about it, and what do you think happened? David started playing the piano again, for the first time in MONTHS. David has a natural love for music, and he has enjoyed the piano from the beginning of his lessons. Gregg and I both loved hearing the children play, especially as their own styles developed.
Katie never wanted to learn to read music, so she memorized her pieces; she had artistic talent, and put her own interpretation into the music. David was diligent about practicing, learned to read music and made rapid and steady progress. While we were in Seattle last year, he had little access to a piano, and rarely played when he did. After Katie passed away, he chose not to resume his lessons, and stopped playing altogether.
It is lovely to hear him working on his favorite music again, patiently playing until he remembers what he has forgotten. The energy it creates in the house is so nice. It reminds me of the days when I was growing up, listening to my brother practice piano and guitar. I am hoping to persuade David to start taking lessons again this summer...It's time to take a moment to thank Grandma and Kappa for giving the kids the gift of the lessons for so many years, and for helping us to buy our piano.
This photo is a great example of Katie showing some "attitude." She is holding David's bear, who is named "Katie Bear." When Katie was born, a friend of mine sent the bear to David, knowing that Katie would be receiving lots of gifts as the newest member of the family. David named it "Katie Bear," which shows you what a nice guy he is, and always has been. Sibling rivalry wasn't his issue; he actually named his bear after his new sister!
Here is one of my favorite photos of best friends, just because.And here are a few more.