Grace has her senior recital this Sunday. Best wishes Grace. Like the prom, remember, it's only one moment in time. The important thing is that you have this ability at the piano. We all know you play with a beautiful sound and from your heart.
I say this because I know Grace will be a little nervous. How do I know this? I know Grace pretty well. I've known her since she was five years old. I also know her pretty well because we are alike in many, many ways. I get nervous too. Really nervous. Palms sweating foot shaking heart-racing sick to my stomach nervous. So I've had a lot of thoughts to share about that. Perhaps in some ways our weaknesses make us better teachers. I survive performing. Grace survives too. We both have an older sister who is both lovely and talented. That's not always easy, even when you are the best of friends. You have to prove yourself a little differently. We both have had a parent with cancer--I'm so thankful that Tammy is a survivor. Lastly, we are both torn between many many things we love to do. Heaven is a place where there is enough time to pursue everything that we want to pursue. . .
Hence the double major between business and the fine arts. While you play on the college soccer team. And sing in the chorus. And help your mom take care of a temporary foster child. And do church. And paint and draw--putting your work in art shows. National Honor Society. AP classes. More soccer. What am I forgetting? Oh, yeah, your love of history.
Chuck. . . just between you and me. . . you might want to be looking at a five year college plan . . .
And somehow all these years Grace managed to squeeze in playing the piano really, really, well. I know many nights this has meant playing piano after a long soccer practice and homework and all her other commitments.
I told you we were a lot alike. Minus the soccer thing.
I asked Grace what piano has meant to her.
She told me she goes to the piano when she has a bad day. She uses piano to calm herself down when she feels anxious. I too walked in the door after everyday of high school and sat at the piano and jammed just to let off steam. "You know it's you babe, whenever I get weary and I've had enough. . . " And. . . "Like a bridge over trou-a-bled waters. . . I will lay me down."
I'm showing my age.
She told me playing piano has taught her how to set goals and follow through. She set some pretty high goals this year at the piano and achieved them all. I'm proud of Grace. Setting goals is a significant life skill. That is for sure.
She told me that through playing the piano and studio activities she's built friendships that will last a lifetime. Who else knows you since you were little? Not that many people. You better hang on to those.
Grace is a good friend to her peers. A typical response from Grace after someone plays at group is "that was really awesome--it reminds me of this one movie. . . " Grace can always put a picture with music. And Grace always has a smile for you. And she's a great baby-sitter!
I love you Grace. I love your Mom and your sister too, but this one is about you. I'm really going to miss you.
You are a beautiful young lady inside and out. I wish you the best on the soccer field and in the choir and in the business world and with your art and your faith. Most of all, I hope you always sit down at the piano when your heart calls you.
I'm going to really date myself. . . but here's the last song I used to jam to after school. It's Dan Fogelberg's "Only the Heart May Know." Click here for gratuitously sad song about friendship and the passage of time.. . .
Friends we knew--follow us through
All of the days of our lives
Love we shared--waits for us there
Where our wishes forever reside