I'm having trouble with words. That's just a warning.
I am emotional. I cry when I feel something. I love people. I especially love older people. These factors make me an emotional wreck when an older person that I love dies.
This particular lady was a wonderful person. She always called me "Lisa," since it seems that "Liz" never stuck with her. I was proud to be Lisa; I was consistently Lisa. This little lady would always wink and point her finger at me when she'd see me walking down the hall. She did this to everyone, but I like to think that I was special to her. At the very least, she was special to me.
And oh, did she play the piano! She was wonderful! I can honestly say that she is the sole reason that I played my violin this last year. Occasionally, I'd play for a little bit with other musicians (friends), but she is the reason that I have played publicly since leaving the orchestra. We mostly played hymns, but I can tell you that I always felt God when she'd play. I sensed her passion; she inspired my own.
She was very forgetful, given her age, but she never forgot who she was. Her Bible was worn and usually opened to one passage or another. She was constantly looking for the piano, and she reminded me all of the time of how we needed to play another duet together. This woman gave me purpose! She loved me-- I know that. What an honor it is to be loved by a person, eh?
I wish that I could write her name here. A beautiful lady needs a name. I'll never forget it.
This will be the first funeral that I attend, aside from family. I have experienced death at the nursing home before, but never like this. She was a friend; she was a person I pictured when I questioned the work I do.
This isn't a pity party. I am so blessed to have known such a wonderful woman, and I am glad that she is no longer suffering. It was painful to watch her decline. I feel like I need to "publish" my own tribute to her... I can't keep how much she meant to me to myself. It wouldn't feel right.
Lucky for you, readers, right? I hope that you all love your grandparents. What wise people we have in our midst. Please don't overlook them.
This is a poem I wrote about my friend last semester. I dug it out tonight. I know that sometimes my writing can appear to be rather crass, to some people, but maybe with knowing how I feel about this woman, the words will appear more sensitive than perhaps some may read them.
She, a pianist, sits down at the bench
by the piano, when she remembers it’s there.
Her back is hunched crookedly over the keys,
and her feet barely reach three brass pedals,
the padded shoes and Velcro hindering
her already slowed movements.
Her shiny, metal wheelchair sits next
to the wooden piano in stark contrast.
In her trembling manner, uncontrolled,
it is surprising how she tames
her knobby fingers and brittle bones
to follow specific patterns. I think she is forgetful;
after all, from what I know of music, the notes
on the dog-eared pages should match the sounds
I’m hearing. She turns the pages during a pause
in the music and her eyes follow the bars,
but I can tell that she’s not actually reading along.
I suppose her muscles remember what her mind
cannot. Truly she is an accomplished musician.
Thanks for reading along. This was part of my bad couple of days; I've had a lot weighing on me. Waiting for someone's passing is a difficult place to be. I am sad and relieved.
This is for you, dear. Thank you for your many wise words and brilliant music.