Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Mother the Star

Whenever people who know me hear my mother sing or play piano, as she's done in church for most of her life (and all of mine), they say "oh, now we see where Mark gets his musical talent." I try not to take this as a slight (I have had to put SOME effort into it, y'know). Actually I take it as a compliment to both of us, and in her case well-deserved. I won't pretend to be unbiased here, but I'm only going along with the evidence and the testimony (there is plenty of each): my mother has a gift.

When I was in first grade she came and played for my class. When I was a songleader for a small church in Chattanooga she was a frequent (and welcome) guest as a soloist and instrumentalist. She also plays accordion, though I believe it's been awhile. She was an enthusiastic proponent of the electronic autoharp, though to me the early attempts by Casio sounded more like that chime sound you hear when you enter a store. And she took violin lessons a few years ago; I have to give credit to anyone who can get a tune out of something without frets. I've always been eager to show her off to whomever I could.

So I'm especially proud of how she's using her talents now, combining her interest in all things medical with her musical skills by playing piano in the general and cancer ward lobbies at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, most Friday mornings. This is part of the hospital's music therapy program. After lunch she then volunteers time at the cancer ward desk. I get the feeling when I'm there that she's made a lot of new fans.

My dad happens to be a patient at the same hospital, due to complications after heart bypass surgery, so last week my trip to visit him also included the treat of seeing her "in concert" and having lunch together. Unfortunately my dad couldn't join us, since he was about to have a procedure done. First scheduled for 4:30...then moved up to 12:30...then wait...and wait...and finally they came for him...and changed their minds...and came back at about 5pm. My dad was choosing to be understanding; having worked in auto repair management (Western Auto, Firestone) he knows how unexpected things happen, and many times has had to try to explain delays to frustrated customers. Mother was a little less inclined to give the doctors the benefit of the doubt. For obvious reasons I refrained from getting a picture of him; I assumed he wasn't feeling too photogenic.

But here she is, doing the thing God made her to do (in addition to being wife, mother, grandmother, etc.). Don't forget to tip your nurses and orderlies.

1 comment:

Janelle Martin said...

I remember hearing your Mom sing several times when we went to Westwood, but most of all, I remember her singing at my sister Debbie's wedding....in 1976! How's that for going WAY back? Anyway, I hope that your Dad is continuing to do well, he and your Mom are very special people to me and my family. Keep me posted on how they are doing!