September 19, 2014

Death is Rough

It's been awhile since I just had a random post, so I decided that I would do a Random 5 on Friday this week...just to ramble about some things that I have been dealing with this week.
The Pebble Pond

1. This week was rough. My aunt (my mom's sister) died on Sunday evening. She's been battling cancer for 13 years and could not fight it anymore. She fought so long and so hard and she just got tired. Even though it was expected (she's been doing bad for about a year), it wasn't any easier to accept that my sweet, beautiful, loving, generous and kind Aunt was gone. You can ask anyone and they will tell you that they have never found anyone as kind and generous and loving as she. She was unique. She would have celebrated her 51st birthday next month. Too young to leave this world behind. She was just 16 when I was born and we've always been close, even though for most of my life I live 2000 miles away on the other side of the country. She leaves behind two incredible daughters age 17 and 21--both seniors. One is a senior in high school and the other a senior in college. What a year they are going to have. How many challenges will arise that they will have to conquer. I plan on being there this spring when they each graduate. It's going to be hard. 

2. Playing the piano when you are emotionally compromised is rough. I was asked on Monday night if I could play for my aunts memorial (down in SC) on Wednesday. It was discovered that she didn't have many requests, but written on a form was one specific one "Have Lisa play my favorite song Claire de Lune if she can".  Have you ever heard that beautiful song?

I have never played this song in public before. It's a challenging song which pushes me to my limits even with the best practice. I also had not played it in months. It's not the kind you just pull out and go. And yet, that is what needed to be done.  So I pulled it out. I took it with me. My heart broke thinking about playing this song. But I ran through it a few times while waiting at my aunt's house and my fingers were crazy. How could I play this? But my uncle heard me and grabbed me and said "It is beautiful. She would be happy." So I took a deep breath and knew it was going to be okay--not easy, but it was going to be okay. Even if I sobbed while I played.

3. Playing the song your aunt requested, on your dream piano that you told your aunt you wanted to have a chance to get your hands on, is rough. About 4 years ago, I went to my aunts church to watch my oldest cousin perform her senior concert. While I was there, the beautiful black gleaming "Grandfather" Grand Piano caught my eye. I confided in her that it was my dream piano and the kind I loved to play more than any other. I had forgotten about this conversation until I went to the sanctuary to run through my song for her memorial and there before me, was the very piano I had mentioned. Yes, even in her death she had GIFTED me with her love. Her last gift. Her last bit of generosity. Her last "I love you". She wanted me to play her song on my dream piano. It was too much for me to handle and after I practiced, I went back to join the family and on the way I just stopped and my aunts best friend held me while I sobbed and sobbed.

4. Playing Claire de Lune with tears in your eyes is rough. My song was the Postlude. The song at the end. When the family leaves and everyone stands to pay respect. I had to play this song with the lights shining on me and everyone standing up waiting. With tears in my eyes, I took a deep breath and held my fingers suspended over the keys. I knew that the moment I began I would have to continue until it was over. Even at that moment I didn't know if I could do it. But I would give my aunt my gift to her. And so with a shaky breath I began and let my fingers speak the words in my heart that I could not express. Never had I played that song so well or so easily. I poured my heart into my fingers and made the piano sing. then the third page came. And it hit me. I started shaking as I fought back the tears. "Please Lord. Please let me finish." Finally, I made it to the final few lines...and so I passionately played them with all the love and skill that I could find within me. And left off the final note to hang in the air. 

5. Losing a piece of your heart is rough...but God will see you through. Losing my aunt was incredibly hard. Harder than even my grandpa earlier this year. Why? Because there was so much more for her to do! So many more lives for her to touch with her incredible selfless love. But her time was over. Her long fight against this terrible disease was finished. She needed to rest. We needed to let her go. It's never easy losing a piece of your heart. But God knows that. And He will always be there for you.  It is He would can get you through the "Valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23) and reminds us that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5). I know that we will have rough days ahead when our thoughts linger on my aunt and her legacy...but I have peace knowing that she is finally at rest from her suffering and she would want us to embrace life with her same zeal and love. God help me live up to her legacy of love.

 photo namegraphic2_zps8625728e.png


Kelly Smith said...

I'm so glad God blessed your piano playing. I prayed for you that day :)

Carisa said...

This made me choke up - I've never lost anyone close to me so I don't understand the grief but I love the song you played and it was a beautiful gift you Aunt gave you and you were able to give back to her. Beautiful.