Thank you for making me practice…

My piano.

I sat down at her piano and started to play…

Joy to the world, the Lord is come… O come, O come, Emmanuel… The first noel the angels did say… What Child is this who laid to rest…

She sat in her wheelchair and listened, eyes bright and focused. She hummed a little, tapped her foot. Her caregiver looked over at me and nodded with happiness.

“More?” I asked her.

“Oh yes… please! And can you sing?”

I started playing some more…

“O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining!
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”

My fingers fumbled a little. Blame it on bifocals, or a lack of practice, I didn’t always get the key signature right. “Oops! Sorry! 5 flats!” I said. “That should be D flat!”

It brought back memories of my dad hollering correcting notes from the other room. His perfect pitch was annoying at times. How many hours did I practice? More than I wanted to, for certain.

But that day in her living room, watching her smile with such contentment, I said a silent thank you to my parents for making me practice all those years ago.

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