Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Comfort of Music

The beauty of music touches the soul like nothing else can. Lilting, laughing, mournful, wistful, curious and comedic, you can find it all in the guise of a melody. And I know no one else who can create a more beautiful tune than my father. No one else who appreciates it more than my mother. 

My father's music comforts me like nothing else can. A master of the piano, he has played everything from Liszt, to Gershwin, to Prokofiev. As a child, he composed melodies for me to play. These melodies effortlessly flowed through his fingers and his creativity fascinated me. As an adult I have read much about the creative genius in all of us, but having witnessed creativity being born, I have my doubts that anyone will ever find a "recipe" that works for everyone. 

Visiting my parents this weekend, I was struck again by the power of his music. You see, my mother has had Parkinson's for some time, and it had not been the best day for her. We had driven up for the afternoon, and just finished dinner, doing our best to cheer her up. As I sat with my mom, I was struggling with my inner demon that was screaming at the injustice of this disease, striking out at a woman who has been nothing but kind and gentle all her life. Why? Then, the sounds of music suddenly filled the house. 

There is simply no way to describe the beauty that wrapped us up, comforting us with it's richness. I wanted to hug it close, capture it inside me and not let go.  The notes hung sweetly in the air, wistful for days gone by, accepting things that can't be changed,  and thankful for the gift of togetherness. They conveyed the potency of love. Listening, my mother's face broke into a huge, beautiful smile. "Your father is playing my song!" 

My father's music had touched the flame that yet burns in my mother's soul.


  1. My mother, too, has Parkinson's. She was doing well until recently, and is now in a memory unit in a nursing home. Unfortunately, she keeps saying that she doesn't want to listen to any music, but perhaps I should take a few albums out to her and see if anything strikes a cord.

  2. Thank you Colleen for sharing something so close to the heart. I do hope that music and the love of the family will continue to balsaam your mother's heart.

  3. Oh my gosh what a beautiful slice on love and the power it has. I hope the music your dad creates continues to soothe your mom.