I am saddened. Today I decided to consult with a piano repairman about my faithful, long-standing instrument and its recent problem. It will cost more to repair than it is worth, about $300. I would have thought it was worth more than that – it certainly was in its youth.
We acquired this Everett piano in 1974 or 75, I’m not certain of the date. The husband and I were newlyweds and in college. We had mentors, both of them teachers at the college, who were going to spend some time abroad and were selling a lot of their possessions that would be hard to store. We bought their piano and their car.
I’ve had access to a piano my whole life, except for a few years living in college dorms. Now I had my own, in my apartment, to play any time I wanted to. We moved from Texas to California and the piano came with us and survived the distance. We moved from California to Wisconsin and again the piano held up well. We moved from Wisconsin to Florida, with the piano in the trailer. Through all this it never had significant tuning problems, just a nick or two on its wooden surface and a stripped screw that held the music stand.
I practiced my lessons on this piano, as well as wedding music, funeral music, fun music for my kids, and special accompaniments for friends who sang. As my children learned to play their instruments, I learned to accompany them. There were years when I taught my own piano students – many small hands had their first introduction to music on the keys of my Everett. There was the year when I once again took lessons from a college professor, doing difficult music and learning intricacies that stretched my ability. Learning hymns and worship music for churches I worked for was always going on in the background. My piano was a workhorse.
But it was more than that. They say that music is a path to the soul, and I have experienced that connection. The instrument making the music became a voice for my soul. My piano taught me that beautiful sound is more than just pushing the right notes, it is putting emotion into those musical phrases, touching them in a particular way, a familiar way.
My piano has calmed me as I cried, has distracted me in distress, has satisfied my need to create. Although made of wood and metals, felt and ivory, it has become almost like a person to me. A treasured friend and encourager.
We are looking forward to one more move, and I have been paring down in anticipation of having to store whatever we decide to take with us. The piano is heavy. It will not store well, and it is broken. I think it is time to let go, but it is hard, and sad. Yes, it’s a sad day, and there are a few tears… just sayin’.