My cousin Leah (or as she’s known to my daughters, Tia Leah) gave Maddie a little red piano at one of my baby showers. For many months it sat proudly in our living room, waiting for the day Maddie would be ready to tickle its ivories, and tickle them she did. We got used to her giggling and playing, and we took tons of pictures of her pounding the keys. It was a very grand piano.
But then, when we returned home from the hospital after she passed, the little red piano just sat there. Taunting us with its silence. Eventually, we asked my parents to take it away.
After some time, my parents brought it back to us, when they knew we were ready to hear its music again. Annie found it, of course, and being the musical kid that she is, she wanted to play it. I’m glad that she threw herself into playing the piano, because we had no time to be precious about it. That piano was going to make her music, damn it.
A few months ago there was an accident and the piano broke. We were all so sad and upset. My father’s friend Jim lovingly put it back together – he even carefully matched the paint. When it came back, looking good as new, Anne couldn’t wait to get her hands on it. She literally clapped her hands and jumped up and down with glee. There’s really no room to be sad when you see something like that, you know?
I’m so very thankful that every day I can hear Annie giggling and tinkling away at the “pa nan oh.” I hope it is never silenced again.