Monday, November 21, 2016


     I may have written about this before, but for some reason, it’s on my mind this morning. I have a regret, one of very very few in my many years on this planet. My piano teacher who had a major impact on my life from the age of 12 through 23 gave me an irreplaceable gift. She hand-wrote several cards and put them in envelopes for me to open at certain points in my life. She titled the envelopes things like “Open this when you feel lonely,” “Open this when you need inspiration,” Open this when you are feeling sad.” Each envelope had a card inside with wisdom she had quoted from Socrates to MLK. Each card was specific to the emotion and personal to me. She added her own wise words. I will never forget reading all of these at different times thinking how generous and kind it was of her to do this for me, the daughter she never had. I didn’t appreciate this gift so much at the time as I regret not having kept it now. Who does that? Who takes time to hand write things to inspire, comfort, console, uplift? No one I know, including me. I need to do this. I need to follow her lead and do this for someone I love. Do you need to do this too? For whom would you write these cards? Where would you find the quotes, and what topics would you choose?

     I remember her saying in one of them that she hoped I would experience pain. At a young age, one would question this, but now I get it. The pain is part of life’s process. To feel the joy is to realize, at the very least, the absence of pain in many instances. She was referring to all kinds of pain, not just physical. You cannot live more than twenty years without enduring some kind of emotional or mental pain. Forget all the trite “No pain, no gain” advice? No. It’s trite because it’s true. 

     We all know people for whom everything seems to come so easily. There’s the kid who got all As and never studied. There are the people who made thousands of dollars on every real estate transaction, while some of us ended up with two mortgages. There are those who look ten years younger and never apply a moisturizer. Well, guess what? It all evens out in the end. If you get cheated in one category, you are blessed in another. No one’s life is perfect, and having it easy doesn’t necessarily make you happier, smarter or more successful. 

     My trail has been crooked, dangerous, lonesome, painful, but the “amazing view” has been worth every injury, tear and tremor. How about you?