I am 17. I’ve spent more than an hour on my hair. I wear a dress that has absorbed a few swear words while my mother struggled with the sewing machine because the fabric is sheer and every seam is Frenchly pressed.
Still, after all this time with my hair, I’m ready early and my prom date has not yet arrived. My stomach won’t allow food in, so I can’t spend the time calming nerves with chocolate or ice cream.
My mother sits me down at the piano and we begin to sing hymns. How Great Thou Art is helpful because she sings the alto harmony to my soprano. I must attend or I will get lost in her voice. Sometimes she can play the whole hymn on these piano keys and sometimes she plays the left hand and I offer the right.
When Peace Like a River flows easily, and my stomach thinks maybe I will make it through dinner with this boy who will one day celebrate 25 years of marriage on a ranch in Western Colorado with me. The back of my neck relaxes and I breathe deeply. Years later, when this hymn cycles back to me at my mother’s memorial service, it is still well with my soul.
We join our voices to sing Amazing Grace and the sound is sweet indeed.
I am grateful for music. I am grateful for a mother who sings. I am grateful for memory so inextricably tied to song.
I’m grateful for a doctor who invited me to sing to my children. I’m grateful that parenting is a constant invitation to begin again, because today I know things I didn’t know yesterday.
I hope you will join me for this month of soulful gratitude. Leave a comment and tell me what small thing is bringing you happiness. Come talk with me Tuesday, November 20 @ 10am PST/ 12 CST/ 1 pm EST when we’ll be chatting about the power of melody, harmony and the wonders of recording gratitude.
To be a part of that call simply dial (805) 399-1200 then enter your *secret code* 208594#
*Long distance rates will apply, but otherwise the call is free.