When my sister died everything happened suddenly. I got a call in the middle of the night. Was told to pack and get to Ohio. I scrambled around my room wondering what to pack for a coma. I contemplated bringing my violin. A silly thought I had about “playing her awake.” But she was gone before I left for the airport.
There were so many things I wish I could have said or done. I would give anything to have just one item on that list.
And now here I am with my Nana and Grandpa’s health failing right in front of me. It all started sort of suddenly with a single fall, and since then has been slow and painful. At this moment Grandpa is suffering from pneumonia, and can’t help himself cough because of broken bones. There will be no heroic measures this time. So we are waiting hopefully, but are aware that this…well…we’re aware. He might be aware, too.
I know he knows how much I love him. I’ve done my best to remind him over the last couple of years. But it’s breaking my heart that I can’t be there right now. He is in an ICU unit, but the nurse let me talk to him on speaker. He couldn’t really talk, but I reminded him just how predictable he is. I already knew everything he would say if he could.
Last night I got an idea. Everyone else was debating and posturing and cheering and booing during the Presidential Debate. Me? I was in the bathtub with my violin. Looking dissheveled because our A/C is out and we had 85% humidity. Missing an earring (this is a violin habit – too silly to explain). A decade or so out of practice. But I knew my Grandpa could care less how squeaky or out of tune I was or how many notes I missed.
This video is for him, but I’m sharing it with you. In the past I’ve been grateful I shared; I’m wondering if this could spark an idea for any of you living long distance from a loved one.
I hit every limb on the Ugly Tree with this piece. Whatever. I recorded it with my phone, sent it to my mom, and she was able to play it for him on her Ipad this morning. He loved it.
***I should mention that I picked Humoresque for a reason. Everyone always loved playing it in Suzuki recitals. But I remember my teacher once describing the different parts to it as something along the lines of a sunny day, peaceful day, storm, and then light on the other side. This seemed fitting.
And for good measure, I went ahead and recorded something even shorter. In case his attention span was short. In case it was easier to download. In case…I don’t know. I’m a little type A. I have backup plans for everything. So I also sent a couple of silly Irish jigs. Equally squeaky and out of tune. So I’ll spare you.