Thursday, January 22, 2009


In these shoes, Stanley played Ave Maria on the church organ for me, when I converted. (I was raised Lutheran and joined the Catholic church a few years after meeting my husband.)

In these shoes, he played for the baptisms of each of my children, at a Sunday mass... and thousands of other babies, over his 55 (and counting!) years of service at our church.

In these shoes, he played on the Christmas Eve that my son was carried up the aisle, representing the Baby Jesus.

He has played for so many girls in tiny white dresses and boys in white ties, as they receive their sacrament of First Holy Communion. And yes, that includes my children.

He played for my friend's wedding. When her husband tragically died a year later, and we were all heartbroken, and the entire community came together to grieve with her, Stanley wore these shoes.

So many weddings, so many funerals, he has played, wearing these shoes.

He has played Lenten music, Tenebrae services, Easter Vigils and Easter mornings, Advent Sundays (four weeks, year after year after year) and Christmas carols at Midnight Mass, in these shoes.

In the choir loft, there are file cabinets brimming with frayed yellow sheets of paper, worn at the edges by many before me -- all songs which Stanley has played, in these shoes.

Latin masses-- I never dreamed there were so many variations.

We sing Bach, Beethoven, Schubert. German music, Russian music. Polish music, to honor the homeland of Stanley's ancestors. And, something that always amuses me, gospel music that would be very familiar in a Baptist church far south of where we stand to sing.

Yes, he has played the Hallelujah chorus. MANY times.

In these shoes, he plays Stars and Stripes Forever, and God Bless America, every Fourth of July.

May he wear them for many, many years to come.


allpointsbulletin said...

A good pair of shoes are hard to find. Ones that will travel a lifetime. Never too tight, never too loose, always ... just right.

These shoes aren't just old shoes but a symbol of the years of dedicated service and commitment. It could only be a true labor of love.

Sephia. Definitely works. Nice job C.

crystal wolf said...

Lovely shot and lovelier words. Thanks for sharing.

onescrappychick said...

What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man.