Thursday, August 13, 2009

It is Hope that moves us forward

Today I sang at the funeral for the Mother of one of my oldest friends.

I actually slept fairly well last night. I have become accustomed to waking about 4 am, to lie for at least an hour in the quiet darkness of the house and worry. My weight/health, the state of the various relationships and people in my life, my kid who is anxious about starting high school... oh, and that job thing. Money and bills and where will I work and when might that be and will I be a manager or not and will they like me and what I will I wear...good old fashioned fretting of all sorts, large and small.

My friend called the other day, to tell me herself so that I wouldn't see it in the paper, and said that she was going to put me to work. I realized that she meant, to sing at the funeral. So last night I called Stanley, and asked him what the family had arranged for him to sing.

And then I slept. Someone close to me wished a restful night for me, and I received it.

While we waited for the family to arrive at the church this morning, Stanley and I spoke softly. He estimated that he has, in the last 19 years, played for 2200 funerals.

He told me that as he grows older, he wonders what will happen when he dies. I told him about the curtain call scene at the end of the movie, Titanic. The entire cast is in the grand staircase, which is fully restored under the glass dome, and everyone is joyful as Leonardo and Kate enter, reunited. I said that I thought that would be what it was like, for him. They will all be there to greet him.

Of course, then I told him it had better not be any time soon.

Stanley knows my voice, and knows when to nudge me forward, and when to drop the organ down so that it transposes to fit my range. With him, I can sing. There are times when I sing and what I hear isn't how I want it to sound, and I was so happy that today was NOT one of those days. It sounded nice. I sang entire solos whenever he nodded his head at me, and my voice didn't crack, or vanish on the high notes. It was clear. It was everything I wanted it to be, to comfort L. and her sisters.

L. hugged me outside of the church, and told me how much it had meant to her. "It was my gift to you" I replied. I forgot to buy a mass card, but I could sing for her.

Rest in peace, Dorothy...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Friendship is at its best when we serve a friend in both the joyous and sad moments in life. I am sure the singing was anointed and blessing to L.