Moving from one home to another can be highly stressful, even at the best of times. Will everything fit in the new house? What do you take with you? What do you leave behind?
When I was a little girl, my mother paid for piano lessons. I don’t know why she decided to buy that spinet piano – I guess she always wanted one and had somehow come into a small windfall. The piano looked great in our small suburban living room – well, at least until the new puppy ate the side of it. Needless to say, my mother was not happy.
But that’s a story for another day.
Mom paid for piano lessons, somehow managing to save cash from her grocery money to do so. I would walk several blocks to the piano teacher’s house, where I learned to play on a beautiful baby grand.
And I really got into music. As I grew from a child into a teenager and then a young woman, the piano became my emotional outlet. Whenever I was upset – and whenever I was ecstatic – I would bang on that piano until the emotional up or down was totally released. Sometimes for hours. I loved that piano.
When Mom became elderly and Dad had passed, she went to her attorney and drafted a Will. She bequeathed the piano to me. She said she wanted me to have it because I loved it so.
But then she sold the family home and could not take the piano with her to her small basement apartment. She considered that piano to be rightfully mine, so somehow I found room for it in my own home. I even hired a piano tuner to make sure it was in optimal condition (well, despite the chewed up side, which never had been fixed).
As my own children grew, I arranged for piano lessons for those who were interested. They enjoyed playing, but none got into as much as I had.
Over the years, the piano became an unused fixture in the living room. I no longer had time to play it, and the children had other interests. Mostly, the piano was someplace to put family photos and other memorabilia. Once in awhile, someone would open the lid and play a few bars, but the poor thing became ignored. I knew the piano was sad, but I couldn’t give it up. My Mom had died and it was one of the few things I had left from her.
Eventually, we sold our first home and moved to a new one. The living room at the new house was much different than the old one, and we had room for either the desk/credenza that I had purchased for my blogging hobby, OR for the piano, but not both.
The piano had to go.
I offered the piano to each of my daughters, but no one had room for it. I considered donating it to a charity of some kind, but another family member had recently had trouble finding a taker for her own spinet piano – and I had neither the time nor energy to start calling churches, schools, etc. to see if anyone would take it.
I didn’t want to just put it out on the berm on garbage day. Somehow that seemed disrespectful to my mother’s memory.
So, in desperation, I posted on Facebook, and a miracle happened. A friend replied that she would gladly accept the piano, and her young son would love it every bit as much as I had as a child. My friend arranged to have professional movers pick the piano up at my new house, where it was stored temporarily in the garage because there was no room in the house itself.
The movers arrived, and I watched as they prepared to load the piano. I knew it was getting a better home. I knew it would be loved by another child. I knew it would longer sit unused for the mere purpose of holding photographs and memorabilia.
But knowing doesn’t always matter. As the piano was rolled up onto the truck, I glanced up at the sunny sky and white fluffy clouds and thought of my mother and how she had sacrificed to bring me so much joy in my young life. Unexpectedly, I began bawling. My husband had to supervise the rest of the move.
My friend understood what that piano had meant to me. She sent photos of the piano in a place of honor in its new home – and she sent a video showing her son’s excitement when the piano arrived. I don’t think my friend will ever know how much that video meant to me.
The piano will be loved. Mom would have been pleased.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom